Saturday,November 26,2022

The Secret Goldmine of Indian Football-I-League

The I-League is one of the most underrated platforms for Indian Football and has the potential to churn out great results.

I-League 3

With the emergence of the Indian Super League(ISL), India has witnessed the relevance and coverage of the I-League decline at a very alarming rate. However, it still holds true that the I-League boasts of Indian football in its most pure form and given the proper resources, coverage and investment, it can yield great results for  Indian football. With proper care and attention given to the Indian League, it can help elevate the quality and level of Indian football by leaps and bounds.

Unlike the ISL, the I-League runs on a system of promotion and relegation with I-League 2nd Division as well as a system of direct-entry. This type of a setup offers more competitiveness in the league and thus requires each club to step up their game constantly on a match-t0-match basis in order to stay in the 1st division and avoid relegation. Seasons run from January to May, with teams playing 18 matches each, totalling 90 matches in the season. Most games are usually played in the afternoons during the weekends or midweeks.

With most of the viewership now towards ISL, the I-league is struggling to maintain its relevance as ISL has a myriad of investors, TV coverage deals and sponsorships. However, those Indian football fans who have followed the sport within the country still choose to watch the I-League instead of the former simply because it still values and boasts of Indian domestic players more than players from abroad.

The fact that 90,000 people showed up for the much-hyped Kolkata derby contested between the Legendary Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on November 20, 2011, is a testament to how much the Indian football fanbase craves for domestic players and their promotion and how much passion they harbour for their domestic clubs.

I-League 4

Also read: Ex-Footballer Sells 2 Houses to Setup A Football Academy

Since the league inception, a total of five clubs has been crowned champions of the I-League. Of the 25 clubs to have competed since the inception of the I-League in 2007, the teams that have won the title are Mohun Bagan A.C. (1 time), Bengaluru FC (2 times), Churchill Brothers (2 teams), Dempo (3 times), and Salgaocar (1 time) respectively. The current league champions are Bengaluru FC, and this is their 2nd league title in 3 years.

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The competition, formed as the ONGC I-League in 2007 in an effort to professionalise the game in India after holding the old National Football League for eleven seasons, replaced the NFL as the primary competition in the country.

Statistics:

I-League

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I-League 2

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Also read: SUNIL CHHETRI- KEEPING IT SIMPLE

The most common criticism is of the I-League is its persistent financial instability. The lack of funds and stability has caused many of the clubs to disband their operations such as Mahindra United, Pailan Arrows and JCT. When JCT disbanded, head of operations, Samir Thapar stated that the lack of any credible exposure and money as a major reason for JCT disbanding.

One of the most prevalent beliefs in the underground football cultures in India is that if the I-League receives proper attention and resources, it could work wonders for the Indian National Football team and hopefully turn India into a true footballing nation.

The I-League is one of the most underrated platforms for Indian Football and has the potential to churn out great results.

I-League 3

With the emergence of the Indian Super League(ISL), India has witnessed the relevance and coverage of the I-League decline at a very alarming rate. However, it still holds true that the I-League boasts of Indian football in its most pure form and given the proper resources, coverage and investment, it can yield great results for  Indian football. With proper care and attention given to the Indian League, it can help elevate the quality and level of Indian football by leaps and bounds.

Unlike the ISL, the I-League runs on a system of promotion and relegation with I-League 2nd Division as well as a system of direct-entry. This type of a setup offers more competitiveness in the league and thus requires each club to step up their game constantly on a match-t0-match basis in order to stay in the 1st division and avoid relegation. Seasons run from January to May, with teams playing 18 matches each, totalling 90 matches in the season. Most games are usually played in the afternoons during the weekends or midweeks.

With most of the viewership now towards ISL, the I-league is struggling to maintain its relevance as ISL has a myriad of investors, TV coverage deals and sponsorships. However, those Indian football fans who have followed the sport within the country still choose to watch the I-League instead of the former simply because it still values and boasts of Indian domestic players more than players from abroad.

The fact that 90,000 people showed up for the much-hyped Kolkata derby contested between the Legendary Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on November 20, 2011, is a testament to how much the Indian football fanbase craves for domestic players and their promotion and how much passion they harbour for their domestic clubs.

I-League 4

Also read: Ex-Footballer Sells 2 Houses to Setup A Football Academy

Since the league inception, a total of five clubs has been crowned champions of the I-League. Of the 25 clubs to have competed since the inception of the I-League in 2007, the teams that have won the title are Mohun Bagan A.C. (1 time), Bengaluru FC (2 times), Churchill Brothers (2 teams), Dempo (3 times), and Salgaocar (1 time) respectively. The current league champions are Bengaluru FC, and this is their 2nd league title in 3 years.

The competition, formed as the ONGC I-League in 2007 in an effort to professionalise the game in India after holding the old National Football League for eleven seasons, replaced the NFL as the primary competition in the country.

Statistics:

I-League

I-League 2

Also read: SUNIL CHHETRI- KEEPING IT SIMPLE

The most common criticism is of the I-League is its persistent financial instability. The lack of funds and stability has caused many of the clubs to disband their operations such as Mahindra United, Pailan Arrows and JCT. When JCT disbanded, head of operations, Samir Thapar stated that the lack of any credible exposure and money as a major reason for JCT disbanding.

One of the most prevalent beliefs in the underground football cultures in India is that if the I-League receives proper attention and resources, it could work wonders for the Indian National Football team and hopefully turn India into a true footballing nation.

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The I-League is one of the most underrated platforms for Indian Football and has the potential to churn out great results.

I-League 3

With the emergence of the Indian Super League(ISL), India has witnessed the relevance and coverage of the I-League decline at a very alarming rate. However, it still holds true that the I-League boasts of Indian football in its most pure form and given the proper resources, coverage and investment, it can yield great results for  Indian football. With proper care and attention given to the Indian League, it can help elevate the quality and level of Indian football by leaps and bounds.

Unlike the ISL, the I-League runs on a system of promotion and relegation with I-League 2nd Division as well as a system of direct-entry. This type of a setup offers more competitiveness in the league and thus requires each club to step up their game constantly on a match-t0-match basis in order to stay in the 1st division and avoid relegation. Seasons run from January to May, with teams playing 18 matches each, totalling 90 matches in the season. Most games are usually played in the afternoons during the weekends or midweeks.

With most of the viewership now towards ISL, the I-league is struggling to maintain its relevance as ISL has a myriad of investors, TV coverage deals and sponsorships. However, those Indian football fans who have followed the sport within the country still choose to watch the I-League instead of the former simply because it still values and boasts of Indian domestic players more than players from abroad.

The fact that 90,000 people showed up for the much-hyped Kolkata derby contested between the Legendary Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on November 20, 2011, is a testament to how much the Indian football fanbase craves for domestic players and their promotion and how much passion they harbour for their domestic clubs.

I-League 4

Also read: Ex-Footballer Sells 2 Houses to Setup A Football Academy

Since the league inception, a total of five clubs has been crowned champions of the I-League. Of the 25 clubs to have competed since the inception of the I-League in 2007, the teams that have won the title are Mohun Bagan A.C. (1 time), Bengaluru FC (2 times), Churchill Brothers (2 teams), Dempo (3 times), and Salgaocar (1 time) respectively. The current league champions are Bengaluru FC, and this is their 2nd league title in 3 years.

The competition, formed as the ONGC I-League in 2007 in an effort to professionalise the game in India after holding the old National Football League for eleven seasons, replaced the NFL as the primary competition in the country.

Statistics:

I-League

I-League 2

Also read: SUNIL CHHETRI- KEEPING IT SIMPLE

The most common criticism is of the I-League is its persistent financial instability. The lack of funds and stability has caused many of the clubs to disband their operations such as Mahindra United, Pailan Arrows and JCT. When JCT disbanded, head of operations, Samir Thapar stated that the lack of any credible exposure and money as a major reason for JCT disbanding.

One of the most prevalent beliefs in the underground football cultures in India is that if the I-League receives proper attention and resources, it could work wonders for the Indian National Football team and hopefully turn India into a true footballing nation.

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