I-League and AIFF have been subject to a lot of criticism over relegation in recent years. There has been a lack of consistency in relegating teams who have finished at the bottom of the table in I-League. In this article, we look at the last 5 teams to have been relegated in the I-League.
1. Shillong Lajong FC
Shillog Lajong FC were relegated from the I-League after finishing last in the 2018-19 season. They secured 3 wins and 2 draws but also suffered 15 losses and finished the season with 11 points. Shillong Lajong was coached by Alison Kharsyntiew, who was the assistant coach in the previous season. One notable aspect of Shillong Lajong’s season was that they did not have a single foreigner in their entire squad. The average age of their Indian contingent for the 2018-19 season was below 20 years with academy graduates forming the bulk of the squad. They also lost prolific winger Redeem Tiang, who joined ISL outfit NorthEast United FC. Despite the lack of experience, Shillong Lajong managed to score 23 goals in the league which was much more than Indian arrows and Minerva Punjab. However, they also conceded a league high 56 goals, at least 20 more than every other team, culminating in their relegation from I-League.
2. Mumbai FC
The next relegation goes back to the 2016-17 season, which saw the relegation of the Mumbai based club Mumbai FC. Mumbai FC amassed a total of 13 points, same as Minerva Punjab, but finished bottom owing to an inferior goal difference. The club saw 2 wins, both coming in the first 3 matches, 7 draws and 9 losses in the 2016-17 season. The Mumbai based club was able to score only a league low 9 goals in the entire season. Prior to the start of the season, Mumbai FC sacked their coach Khalid Jamil who was their coach from 2009 and appointed former Royal Wahingdoh and Salgaocar FC coach, Santosh Kashyap. The now defunct Mumbai FC is also responsible for the emergence of national team stars Rahul Bheke and Ashutosh Mehta.