Prize-money of Rs 1.25 crore is up for grabs in the second edition of the ONGC-sponsored I-League football tournament, which gets underway on Friday.
The winners of India's premier club competition will earn Rs 50 lakh, while the runners-up will get Rs 28 lakh. The third and fourth-placed teams get Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
A cash award of Rs 25,000 each will be given to the best player of the league, the highest scorer, best midfielder, best defender, best goalkeeper and best coach.
The man of the every match in the tournament will be richer by Rs 5,000.
Despite ONGC cutting the sponsorship amount to Rs six crore, from Rs seven crore that was offered last season, the team that wins the fairplay award will receive Rs 100,000.
Talking about the level of facilities and infrastructure in the various clubs, All India Football Federation general secretary Alberto Colaco said, ''Almost 60 per cent of clubs in the I-League have matched AFC norms. But unless all the clubs come up to the AFC standard, we cannot play in the Asian Champions League.''
Asked about the number of foreign players allowed per team he replied, ''Three foreign players can be registered. All three can play in a match. If one is injured and cannot play for the rest of the season, he cannot be replaced.''
Colaco also released the itinerary for the league.
''Dates have been decided for most of the I-League fixtures. Once the Asian Football Confederation announces the dates for its competitions, dates for the rest of the matches will be announced as well,'' he added.
26.09.08: East Bengal vs Chirag United (Kolkata); Vasco vs Sporting Clube de Goa (Goa)
27.09.08: Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai FC (Kolkata); Churchill Brothers vs Mahindra United (Goa)
29.09.08: Mohammedan Sporting vs Air India (Kolkata); Dempo vs JCT (Goa)
30.09.08: East Bengal vs Mumbai FC (Kolkata)
02.10.08: Vasco vs JCT (Goa)
03.10.08: Mohun Bagan vs Air India (Kolkata)
04.10.08: Sporting Clube vs Mohammedan Sporting (Goa); Mahindra United vs Chirag United (Mumbai)
05.10.08: Churchill Brothers vs Dempo (Goa).
11.10.08: JCT vs Mohammedan Sporting (Ludhiana); Mahindra United vs Mumbai FC (Mumbai)
12.10.08: Chirag United vs Churchill Brothers (Kolkata); Air India vs East Bengal (Mumbai); Dempo vs Vasco (Goa).
18.10.08: JCT vs Mahindra United (Ludhiana); Air India vs Chirag United (Mumbai); East Bengal vs Vasco (Kolkata); Mumbai FC vs Dempo.
19.10.08: Mohammedan Sporting vs Mohun Bagan (Kolkata); Churchill Brothers vs SCG (Goa).
23.10.08: JCT vs Chirag United (Ludhiana)
24.10.08: Mohammedan Sporting vs Mahindra United (Kolkata); Mumbai FC vs Sporting Clube
25.10.08: Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal (Kolkata); Vasco vs Churchill Brothers (Goa)
26.10.08: Dempo vs Air India (Goa).