The League will proceed with just 13 teams next season.
Mumbai Tigers have sensationally withdrawn from the I-League with just 20 days to go before the 2013/14 commences.
The All Indian Football Federation initially persuaded the Tigers, owned by the Dubai-based Dodsal Group, to join as one of of two new teams to peal of trumpets, but their abrupt decision to remove themselves leaves India’s premier football tournament with just 13 competing sides.
A statement from the AIFF outlined the reasons behind the Mumbai-based club’s exodus from the league.
“Citing unavoidable circumstances, Mumbai Tigers have decided not to take part in the 2013-14 Season of I-League, requesting further for their involvement in the 2nd Division League for this season,” the Times of India report.
“The Mumbai based Club informed the AIFF that they are not ready at the moment to participate in the First Division and need more time to prepare for participation in the I-League.”
I-League chief executive Sunando Dhar acknowledged that it was a bolt from the blue and confirmed that the competition format would continue with an uneven number of teams.
“We did not have any idea that this could be coming. Suddenly they (Mumbai Tigers) sent a letter to us that they are not ready to play in the I-League this season. Only 13 teams will be there in the I-League this year,” he said.