Indian football 2020-2021 season to kick off August 1

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NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation has secured the go-ahead from FIFA to kick off Indian football’s domestic season from August 1, running through to May 31, 2021.

The season, which gets going two months later than normal as a fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, will also see the summer transfer window run from August 1 to October 31, the AIFF confirmed. It bears noting that the domestic transfer window normally begins in the first week of June, and continued till August end.

AIFF sent the following circular on Tuesday to all its state units: 
The season dates and registration period (transfer window) as approved by FIFA for the 2020-21 season are as below:
Season dates: August 01, 2020 to May 31, 2021.
First registration period (Men & Women): August 1, 2020 to October 20, 2020.
Second registration period (Men & Women): January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2021.
Registration period for amateur players: August 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

The second transfer window will be from January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2021, PTI reports.

In an earlier circular sent in the last week of May to the member units, the AIFF had said that the date of the domestic season will be delayed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Normally, the I-League does not start before October. Last year, the Indian Super League began on October 20 while the I-League started on November 30.

The 2019-20 season ended with the I-League not being able to finish its remaining games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mohun Bagan were declared champions as they had already clinched the title with four rounds left to play.

The last football match played before the country went into lockdown was the ISL final between ATK and Chennaiyin FC, which was played behind closed doors at the Fatorda Stadium at Margao, Goa, and saw the Kolkata team take top honours.