The new season of the Mizoram Premier League will kick off on September 6.
Mizoram has a population of a little over a million and it boasts of half a dozen players who have been called up to the Indian national team. The unique communitarian approach to the game has transformed the state into one of India’s football powerhouses.
Mizoram’s Sports & Youth Services Minister, Zodintluanga, attributed the success of Mizo teams in Santosh Trophy, National Games, and the I-League as a “result of the well-structured Mizoram Premier League”.
The teams will face each other twice in the round-robin league, while the bottom-placed team will be relegated to the District Football Association.
Similar to the Indian Super League, the top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals (a double-legged tie) while the final will be a one-off. The final is scheduled to take place on December 7, 2018.
The seventh edition of the league will be contested by eight clubs, including holders Chhinga Veng FC, Aizawl FC, Bethlehem Vengthlang FC, Chanmari FC, Electric Veng FC, Mizoram Police, Ramhlun North FC and the newly-promoted club Chawnpui FC.
Nearly all of the tournament will be held at Lammual, Aizawl and a handful of matches to be played in the district capitals of Kolasib and Serchhip.
The kickoff times are scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and The organizers have priced the tickets for league rounds at Rs. 30, Rs. 50 for the semi-finals and Rs. 100 for the finals. Students in school uniforms and citizens above the age of 65 will be granted free entry.
The Mizoram Football Association had signed the broadcasting rights with Zonet Cable TV for the inaugural Mizoram Premier League in 2012 and brought the matches into Mizo homes at primetime. Last year, the two parties signed a new five-year deal worth Rs.1.5 crore.