Mass exodus from Elite league
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The three I-League clubs from the city, including last season's champions ONGC, will not be participating in this year's Elite Division competition of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) League 2012-13, which is scheduled to kick-off at the Western Railway ground, Mahalaxmi, on February 25.
The other two I-League clubs not in the fray include, former champs, Air India and Mumbai FC, who along with ONGC are currently participating in the ongoing I-League.
In addition, PIFA Colaba, newly formed Dodsal FC and Kenkre FC will skip the tournament as they will be participating in the 2nd Division I-League which is scheduled to commence from the first week of March. Indian Navy have also opted out as they have to play in the Inter-services tournament.
The MDFA has now decided to conduct the Elite Division League with the remaining seven teams. The teams, who will vie for the top honours this year will be Western Railway, Central Railway, Mumbai Customs, Union Bank of India, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) and promoted outfits Maharashtra State Police (MSP) and Companeroes SC.
The MDFA has also decided to complete the league within a month and the fixtures have been drawn up with the concluding league matches scheduled to be played on March 16.
Central Railway takes on Union Bank of India in the league opener on the coming Monday, followed by the second match between Western Railway and Mumbai Customs.