What is the ISL?
The Hero Indian Super League is a professional football league in India. The first ever ISL is set to start on the 12th of October 2014. ISL aims to foster local talent and feature international stars, making the game one of the country’s flagship sports and India, a name to reckon within the global arena. ISL features eight franchises from Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
IMG Worldwide, Reliance Industries and Star India teamed up to launch the Indian Super League. Anupam Dutta, CEO of Football Sports Development Private Limited (FDSPL), a joint venture between IMG-Reliance and Star India, mentioned that the Indian Super League’s (ISL) objective is to promote football in the country. Their vision is for India to become a global football power and qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The catalyst for the project came in December 2010 when IMG-Reliance agreed a 15-year, US $155 million deal with the All India Football Federation to ‘radically restructure, overhaul, improve, popularise and promote’ soccer in India. Plans for an Indian Super League have been in the works ever since.
Reports suggest that Star India agreed to pay Rs 2,000 crore, or some US$324.7 million, for a one-third stake in the Indian Super League, plus the commercial rights for ten years.
Star India, the India’s biggest TV network, hold the broadcast and sponsorship rights for a tournament.
Rules and Regulations
Each team play 2 games against every team in home & away format. Based on points & rankings, top four teams qualify for the the semi finals. The semis are played in the home & away format. This means that a total of 4 semi final matches will be played in the Indian Super League. In the end, 2 teams face each other in final which is one off match.
Official ball supplier
“The association with ISL brings in credibility and Puma is happy to be the official ball partner for the tournament. The EvoPower 1 football uses cutting edge innovation and we are glad to bring such technology to the table.”
– Puma India managing director Abhishek Ganguly
Bengaluru franchisee owners, Sun Group dropped out of the ISL before the third draft and before the tournament even started. Sun Group attempted to get together with JSW (owners of the I-League team Bengaluru FC), but the ISL informed Sun Group that their association with JSW wouldn’t stand.
Bengaluru were replaced by a Chennai based franchise, represented by Prashant Agarwal, the CEO of Kshatriya Sports.
List of foreign players in the ISL draft pool
A total of 56 foreigners feature in the city-based tournament, seven other internationals were contracted directly by the franchise teams.
The average age listed is 28 years, with 186 appearances per player on an average. Other nationalities include France (eight), Czech Republic (eight), Brazil (five), Portugal (five), Colombia (five), South Korea (two), Argentina, Canada, Serbia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, England, Greece and Cameroon (one each).
Read full list here.