Officially called the “Hero Indian Super League” due to its sponsorship ties to Hero MotoCorp, today, the Indian Super League (ISL) is known as India’s top-tier football league. In this article, we’ll go over its organisation and expansion, competition format, and various clubs.
ISL Competition Format
Each team competes against every other team using a double round-robin format during the 22-round league phase of the tournament; each club plays every other club twice, once at their home stadium and once at their opponent’s stadium, for a total of 20 matches each.
At this stage, ISL live score trackers make keeping tabs on each club’s progress much easier. Teams score three points when they win, one point each for draws, and no points when they lose. The club that’s scored the highest number of points by the end of the league stage gets declared as the League Premier and is awarded the League Winners Shield trophy.
When two or more clubs are equal on points, the following criteria are applied in sequence:
- highest total of points scored in games involving the clubs in question;
- highest goal differential in games involving the clubs in question;
- most goals scored in games involving the clubs in question;
- greatest goal differential;
- highest number of goals scored;
- fewest red cards accumulated;
- fewest yellow cards accumulated;
- coin toss.
At the culmination of every season, the ISL Final determines the winners of the ISL Trophy, marking the end of the season. The finalists of each league stage advance straight to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, while the ISL Final winning team advances to the AFC Cup playoffs.
Organisation and Expansion
The ISL was launched — by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Star Sports, and IMG-Reliance— nearly a decade ago in 2013. The eight localities initially selected were Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Kochi.
The eight confirmed clubs were named:
- Atlético de Kolkata (ATK);
- Bangalore Titans;
- Delhi Dynamos;
- Kerala Blasters;
- Mumbai City;
- NorthEast United; and
- Pune City.
However, the owners of the Bangalore Titans subsequently announced that they would be pulling out; thus, the franchise was, instead, awarded to Chennai, with its team taking on the name Chennaiyin FC.
The AFC, which oversees football in Asia, and FIFA, the global regulatory body, did not officially recognize the Indian Super League for its first three seasons of play. According to the then-FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, the ISL was only recognized as a competition and not as a league, and the I-League continued to be India’s official football league.
In 2017, an AIFF proposal was officially approved by the AFC, and the ISL replaced the domestic Federation Cup.
ISL Club Stats
At present, the ISL has 11 clubs, up from the eight it was originally organised with, although 13 different clubs have participated at one point or another.
Five ISL clubs have received the title of ISL Champion since the league’s first season: Atlético de Kolkata has claimed the title 3 times, Chennaiyin has claimed it twice, and Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai City have each claimed the title once. Goa, Mumbai City, and Jamshedpur have each won the League Winners Shield once since their inception in the 2019–20 season.
With how much the ISL has developed over the years, if you plan on placing bets on the ISL, even if you’re a dedicated fan, it’s always a good idea to do your research. Be sure to look at player and team statistics and be sure you know how winners of the competition are selected.