Peeking into the history of ISL
Indian Super League, officially known as Hero Indian Super League for sponsorship reasons, is men’s professional football league in India. Though not part of the football pyramid of India, it serves as a top tournament of football in India.
Image courtesy- politicschatter.com
ISL, Indian Super League, was founded in the year 2013. It is designed on the model of the franchise system, similar to the model of twenty20 cricket league. It is an effort taken to increase the love for the sport in India. The Super League runs from the month of October to December. The final, which determines the champions, is held in mid-December. Since its foundation, Indian super league news is followed throughout the nation.
How it All Started?
As you peek into the history of ISL, you will find that the roots had grown much before it actually came into existence. In the year 2010 AIFF (All India Football Federation) signed a 15-year contract with Reliance Industries and IMG Reliance. This contract gave IMG right to create a new football league. Soon after, there was opposition from owners of the clubs of I-League going against the idea of a new league. Against various odds, finally, IMG managed to sign the required amount of players for the league.
The Day it all Started
IMG Reliance, Star Sports, and AIFF launched the League officially on 21stOct 2013. The league was scheduled from Jan to Mar but later was postponed to September. This resulted in the bidding of the teams postponed to Mar 2014. Bidding for teams was accepted in March and results announced in early April 2014.
The Eight Teams and their Owners
The ISL league features eight teams as per the module. The selected eight cities or states announced were Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Pune, Guwahati & Mumbai. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and PVP Ventures owned Kochi team. Former Indian Cricket Team Captain Saurav Ganguly along with few businessmen owned Kolkata. Actor John Abraham owned Guwahati team, and Ranbir Kapoor owned Mumbai team. Actor Salman Khan owned Pune. Teams of Bangalore and Delhi were owned by businessmen whereas Goa was owned by Videocon and Dattaraj Salgaonkar. The eight teams were thus named Atletico De Kolkata, Bangalore Titans, Delhi Dynamics, Goa, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City, Northeast United & Pune City. On 21st Aug 2014 Bangalore’s team dropped out, and Chennai was given a franchise. Eventually, Chennaiyin FC became part of ISL.
Atletico De Kolkata: A special Place in ISL History
The first team officially launched in the history of ISL was Atletico De Kolkata. Former Manchester United & France International Player Louis Saha was first marquee player signed in Indian Super League. The first match of the inaugural season was played on 12th Oct 2014 between Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. According to Indian super league news, the first final was played on 20th Dec 2014 between Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters. Atletico De Kolkata became the first Champions to win the title of Hero Indian Super League.
The series has attracted many criticisms due to its short length. In European countries, football leagues usually continue for around six months, which is why ISL is criticised to be termed as a league. Criticism or not, the league has attracted sponsorships as well as viewers towards itself. The future and love for this sport are certainly bright.