Watch India’s finest footballing superstars battle it out in the Indian Super League (ISL). Since the first edition of the ISL back in 2014, the tournament has been a roaring success and now it’s even shown in 82 countries worldwide. If you’d like to learn more about the ISL, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest edition of the Indian Super League.
11 ISL teams are currently battling for the ISL trophy. Of these teams, six appeared in the inaugural ISL competition back in 2014.
Of all the teams competing in the ISL, only three have ever appeared on the ISL winners list. They are ATK (now known as ATK Mohun Bagan), Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC. In the history of the competition, ATK Mohun Bagan have been the most successful side. They’ve won the tournament on three occasions while Chennaiyin FC have won the competition twice and Bengaluru FC have won it once.
Since the 2019-2020 edition, the tournament has featured both an ISL Winners Shield and an ISL Champion. As a result, at the moment, Goa is the only team to ever hold the ISL Winners Shield.
ISL tournament format
The 2020-21 season of the ISL is being contested in three stadiums across Goa. These are the Fatorda Stadium in Margao, the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim and the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama.
The tournament will be played in two distinct phases. Firstly, all teams will compete in a round-robin format where they play all of the other teams twice, once as the ‘home’ side and once as the ‘away’ side. This means each team will play a total of 20 round-robin games. Teams are awarded three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a defeat.
At the conclusion of the round-robin stage, each team will be given a final league position based on the number of points they’ve accrued. The team that finishes top will then be given the ISL Winners Shield. The top four teams will also progress to the knockout phase of the competition.
The top four teams will then play semi-finals. The team who finishes top will play the team who finishes fourth and the team who finishes second in the round-robin stage will play the team who finishes third. The semi-finals will be two-legged affairs, meaning that each team will have the opportunity to play at home and away. At the conclusion of both matches, the team who is leading on aggregate will progress to the final. If the scores are tied at the end of the semi-finals, then the team who has scored the most away goals will progress.
The final will then be contested by the two winning semi-finalists at a neutral venue. This time, only one leg will be played. The winner of this game will then be crowned as the champion of the ISL.
Notable players and coaches
Since the inception of the competition in 2014, the ISL has grown in popularity and it now attracts some huge international stars. For example, in August 2020, Owen Coyle was named as the new head coach of Jamshedpur FC. He’s a former international player for the Republic of Ireland who has managed English sides Burnley and Bolton in the Premier League.
Similarly, the competition also features several former Premier League players such as Adam Le Fondre and Steven Taylor. Plus, although he’s now retired, former Premier League and Champions League winner Florent Malouda used to play for Delhi Dynamos.
The 2020-21 edition of the ISL will run until March 2021 and we can’t wait to see whether anyone can take the championship from ATK Mohun Bagan. Why not grab your remote, sit back and watch the action unfold with us?