Football is an extremely popular sport not only in India but across numerous nations. In fact, according to the latest research, football is the most popular sport in the world. Numerous domestic and international football championships attract millions of fans to the stadiums and TV screens, and betting agencies have wide betting lines for numerous football matches.
Below we provide a brief overview of the Indian Super League (ISL), the main football competition in the country, for anyone interesting in betting on the sport.
What is the Indian Super League?
The Indian Super League, or ISL, is the top-tier football league in India and that is why football fans always monitor ISL live score on online platforms. The All India Football Federation was founded it in 2013 and, several years ago, ISL joined the World Leagues Forum. There are famous names in this Forum, such as La Liga, Bundesliga, and English Premier League, so the Indian Super League is a real first-class football competition in India.
The history of the Indian Super League and its structure
The first nationwide football competition in India was held in the nineteenth century when the Durand Cup was established in 1988. At the same time, the first Indian football league commenced only in 1996 and it was a semi-professional National Football League. Until that time, Indian football clubs participated only in local tournaments and played in state leagues. In 2006, the All India Football Federation, the main Indian governing body, reformed NFL into the I-League and tried to make this new league more professional. However, the new league was not very popular.
All India Football Federation together with IMG-Reliance and Star Sports launched the Indian Super League in 2013, and since that time, professional football in India entered a new stage. Currently, ISL comprises eleven clubs and the football season runs from November to March. During this period, clubs play against each other in a round-robin style. After that, the football clubs that have the biggest number of points are named Premiers and get a League Winners Shield, the main tournament trophy. Also, the teams that were close to the winner, participate in play-offs. The main competition in the football season is an ISL Final, where the winner gets the ISL Trophy.
Indian Super League today
From the 2022-2023 football season in India, the Indian Super League became the only top-tier league in the country, and today the competition format in the ISL is the following:
- Regular season
The ISL’s regular season starts in October and runs to late February or even March. In total, the competition has twenty-two rounds with a double round-robin format, according to which each club needs to play two games with other clubs. The first game is conducted in the home stadium of the club, and the second game is conducted in the home stadium of the opponent. In total, it creates twenty matches.
After the end of the regular season, the top six clubs participate in playoffs games. The playoffs series ends with the ISL final, where the winner will get the main trophy. In this part of the competition the clubs that were ranked from the second to the sixth position play against each other, and the winners will pass to the semi-final. After that, the last two winners will meet in the ISL final.
- Continental qualification
Also, football teams from Indian Super League can qualify for Asian club competitions, such as AFC Champions League and AFC Cup. Starting in 2018, Asian Football Confederation recognizes ISL, therefore, ISL football clubs can participate in the AFC Cup and Super Cup.
Recently, the Indian Super League became the fourth football league by the number of interactions on social media, especially on Instagram, and football analysts expect that its popularity will continue to grow in the nearest future.