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Hero I-League 2015–16 launched in Kolkata

MUMBAI: The Hero I-League season 2015–16 was officially launched today in Kolkata in the presence of players from all nine competing clubs, along with AIFF general secretary Kushal Dasand representative from Hero Motocorp.

The Hero I-League 2015–16 will be telecast live across the Ten Sports network.

This season will have two debutants in the I-League—DSK Shivajians FC and Aizawl FC. With the addition of these two clubs, the battle for glory will be fought between nine clubs. The league 2015–16 kicks off on the back of some solid showing by the Indian players in the recently concluded SAFF Championships 2015–16 and the Hero Indian Super League 2015.

The first match of the Hero I-League 2015–16 will see defending champions Mohun Bagan take on Aizawl FC in Kolkata on 9 January 2016.

Das said, “We’ve witnessed an enthralling Hero I-League last season, which kept us captivated until the final whistle on 31 May 2015. Definitely, the teams will try to push their limits this season too and strive hard to win the silverware. Champions Mohun Bagan can’t show any signs of complacency as all eight teams will play out of their skins to dethrone them.”

Hero MotoCorp chairman, MD & CEO Pawal Munjal said “This will be the second year of our association with the I-League and after the exemplary show last season, we are all eagerly looking forward to the upcoming season that kicks off in three days. Over the years, we have continued to support various sporting events in the country and it gives us immense pleasure to be associated with both the Hero ISL and the Hero I-League. Football is fast emerging as one of the most popular sports among youngsters in the country and we are indeed happy to support the game. After the grand conclusion of the Hero ISL Season 2, it is now time for Hero I-League to take centre stage.”

Over the next five months, fans will get to witness 72 matches across six Indian cities. Traditional rivals Mohan Bagan and East Bengal will lock horns on 23 January 2016.

The Hero I-League 2015–16 champions will receive Rs 10 million compared to the previous season champions pocketing Rs 7 million. The teams finishing second and third will win Rs 6 million and Rs 4 million respectively. Additionally, winners of every game will win Rs 50,000. The travel subsidy has been raised to Rs 4.5 million, with the match day subsidy hiked to Rs 100,000.