Indian Super League History, Recognition, Team Selection, Competition Format & Club Records

Indian Super League

Indian Super League


Indian Super League, also known as ISL, is one of the most popular Football leagues played in India. It was founded on 21st October 2013 by IMG, Reliance Industries, and Star Sports to increase the popularity of Football in India as well as to give exposure to the young Footballers around the country.

The ISL follows a similar structure like Major League Soccer in the United States. The formal structure of the league for promotion and relegation is to be introduced by 2023-24.



The ISL’s first three seasons operated without getting official recognition from the AFC and FIFA, the world governing body. The general secretary of FIFA, Jerome Valcke, stated that the world governing body only recognized the ISL as a tournament, not a league.

However, following that statement, the ISL started gaining the audience and it had more audience as compared to the I-League. After that, a meeting was held between the AIFF and I-League representatives where they agreed that from the 2017–18 season, the Indian Super League would become the top tier Football league in India, while the I-League will be reformed as League One.



After the announcement of the ISL, eight teams were selected through bidding on 3rd March 2014. Big corporations, Bollywood stars and other consortium were seen bidding.

The former Indian Cricket player Sachin Tendulkar along with PVP Ventures won the bidding for the Kochi franchise, Sourav Ganguly along with the La Liga side Atletico Madrid won the bidding for the Kolkata franchise. Virat Kohli also got associated with the Goa franchise later. The movie actor John Abraham was associated with the North East United, while Ranbir Kapoor was associated with Mumbai City.

Before 2017, eight teams competed with each other in the competition with turned ten after Bengaluru and Jamshedpur joined later. They became the ninth and the tenth team in the league. In the 2019-20 season, the Hyderabad FC replaced the disbanded club FC Pune City, while the Delhi Dynamos were replaced by Odisha FC.



Ten teams play each other twice on a home and away basis. All teams play a total of 18 matches at the completion of the league stage. For each win, a team earns three points, while for a draw, a team earns one point as happens in the other leagues as well. The top four teams from the league stage then qualify for the knock-out round which has the semi-finals and then the final at the end of it all.



Club Stadium Joined Winning Seasons
ATK FC Salt Lake 2014 2014 & 2016
Bengaluru FC Sree Kanteerava 2017 2019
Chennaiyin FC Jawaharlal Nehru 2014 2015 & 2018
Goa FC Fatorda 2014
Hyderabad FC Hyderabad Atletic 2019
Jamshedpur FC JRD Tata Sports Complex 2017
Kerela Blasters Jawaharlal Nehru 2014
Mumbai City FC Mumbai arena 2014
Northeast United FC Indira Gandhi Athletic 2014
Odisha FC Kalinga 2014


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