The window for the ISL 2020-21 has been cleared as the start date of the group stage round of AFC Champions League is set to be postponed from February 15 to April. AFC member nations have already been notified about the same.
FC Goa will become the first Indian club to feature in the group stage of Asian Champions League this season. Their Indian Super League campaign will not be hampered as feared before with the imminent postponement of the top continental event. The ISL announced its fixtures until Jan 11, and is expected to release the schedule of the remaining league fixtures soon.
ISL season 7 is expected to end mid-March before the international break, where India is set to host Qatar in the World 2022 FIFA Cup qualifiers. While the AFC Cup, involving ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC, is set to be hosted in a centralised venue in April, FC Goa might have to play their group stage games in the ACL in a home and away basis.
The Asian Football Confederation’s decision to hold all club competitions post April comes as a relief to ISL as the league is being played under a bio-secure bubble in Goa, and FC Goa’s involvement in the competition will not create complications regarding scheduling and the team exiting and re-entering the bubble again.