Mumbai District Football Association’s Harwood League, Mumbai Football League’s top division MDFA Elite Division is set to undergo a massive overhaul from the upcoming season. The age-old competition has been played in Mumbai for over a century from the times of the British Raj and has seen a host of legendary teams and players take part in it.
Last season was the first season in a long duration that no team from Mumbai was part of either the Hero I-League or the I-League 2nd Division. This was due to a rule that was introduced in the 2nd Division that the participating had to finish in the top three of their domestic leagues.
For over five years, Kenkre and PIFA Football Club would represent Maharashtra, but since the new rules were introduced last year they were deemed ineligible as the top three teams in the Elite Division were all Public Sector teams who do not compete at the National level. This caused a lot of talented players from Mumbai to miss out on high-level competitive football.
The Mumbai District Football Association has thus decided to make changes to the format of their top division so that worthy teams can successfully qualify for the higher levels. The governing body for the sport in the Maximum City has decided to create two groups of 13 teams each for the upcoming season.
One group will be solely made up of Public Sector teams and the other will consist of teams from Corporate entities and clubs that wish to make a run for qualification to the I-League 2nd Division.
The teams will play a single-legged preliminary stage at the end of which the top three teams from both the groups will advance to a Playoff Round, in a similar fashion as the 2nd Division I-League. However, the points from the preliminary stage will not be carried forward to the Playoff Round .
The winner of the league will be crowned based on the final league standings of the qualified teams and the bottom two sides will be relegated to the Super Division.
Listed below are the two group divisions for the Elite Division:
|Elite A||Elite B|
|Air India||Bombay Gymkhana|
|Bank Of India||Community Football Club- India|
|Central Bank of India||Companeros|
|Central Railway||GM Sports|
|Century Rayon||Kenkre FC|
|Dena Bank||Millat FC|
|Karnataka SA||Mumbai Strikers|
|Maharashtra Police||Premier Indian Football Academy-PIFA|
|Mumbai Customs||Rhema Sporting|
|Union Bank of India||Sea View FSI|