Is ISL rekindling the India's love for football?

The Indian Super League is into its sixth season and might be a huge fiesta which reaps many attention towards football for months in this cricket crazy country but the core point of it is promoting Indian footballers. We all know that the life of an football fanatic India is not at all easy. He or she is always in a a puzzle, wondering as to what shall be the future of football in our country.

Indian men football team was lurking in the 150 regions in FIFA rankings in 2015-16. Now years since the inception of the ISL, fortune seems to have changed for the Men in Blue in the right direction. India ranks 104th in the rankings. Many experts have already regarded ISL to be behind India’s success. To sum up, ISL has done is bring conversations about Indian football into Indian popular culture. Let us hope it ignites the passion among many Indian football fanatics.


ISL has definitely helped gain more visibility for the game across the country. ISL like IPL, has benefited from the mix of foreign and local players. International players have also raised the standard of the game.

Although football in India seems to be improving but it still has a long way to go to gain the same popularity as IPL.


India has always had a huge fan base for football but primarily European football. However, ISL has managed to take football beyond couch viewing to giving hope and allowing young footballers to dream again of playing professionally and one day represent the national team. The league has also managed to popularize the game beyond North East.

As per today’s reports, AIFF wants to make ISL the top league in India instead of I-League. A roadmap for Indian football was drafted today in a meeting of the I-League and ISL clubs with the officials of the AIFF and the AFC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As per the proposed roadmap in 2019-20 season, ISL will attain the status of premier league competition in Indian football in order to provide the best opportunity for Indian club football. Also, AFC will allow the winning ISL club to represent India in the AFC Champions League play-offs and the I-League winner will get to play the AFC Cup play-off.

One of the key recommendation by AFC: For 2024-25, it is agreed to fully implement promotion and relegation into the top league, and the abolition of two parallel leagues.

I personally think the consolidation of these two leagues in future will benefit both the leagues in terms of commercials and viewership. The leagues / clubs may not sustain commercially individually in the long run, more so the I-League which does not enjoy the same sponsorship, telecast and bollywood celebrity support as ISL.



The Asian Football Confederation said on Saturday that, Indian captain Sunil Chhetri was voted as the favorite player of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, Chhetri edged out Eldor Shomurodov of Uzbekistan in the final by a 51-49 percent of votes in a fan poll conducted by the AFC.