Your complete guide to Indian Super League (ISL) Football

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ISL begins on October 12 in Kolkata
The Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament will get under way in Kolkata on October 12. With 61 matches across 8 cities over 70 days, it claims to "set the benchmark for every other sport in India".

Schedule; Foreign players list; Marquee players

ISL is co-promoted by IMG-Reliance (the joint venture between IMG and Reliance Industries) and Star India along with the support of All India Football Federation (AIFF). ISL has a mix of domestic and foreign players.

"Come on, India. Let's football," say the organiers.

Squads - Chennaiyin; Delhi; NorthEast; Pune; Mumbai; Kerala; Goa; Kolkata

Here is your complete guide to the newest league in the country


What is ISL?

  • Indian Super League or ISL is a football tournament co-promoted by IMG-Reliance (the joint venture between IMG and Reliance Industries), Star India and supported by All India Football Federation (AIFF). It is a city-based franchise league.

What is the vision of ISL?

  • "For India to become a global football power and qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup," say the organisers.

What is the official slogan?

  • "Come on, India. Let's football."

Why is Indian captain Sunil Chhetri not playing ISL?

  • Indian national team's captain and one of the most popular players in the country, Sunil Chhetri will not be playing in ISL as his I-League club Bengaluru FC has not allowed him participation. However, some of the other I-League clubs have loaned their players for ISL. Also missing are Robin Singh, Karanjit Singh and other national players. India's number one goallkeeper Subrata Paul is playing for Mumbai City FC.

How many teams are playing in ISL?

  • There are 8 city-based franchises in ISL. Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Kochi and Chennai are the 8 cities.

What are the team names?

  • Delhi Dynamos FC (Delhi), Northeast United FC (Guwahati), Atletico de Kolkata (Kolkata), Mumbai City FC (Mumbai), FC Pune City (Pune), FC Goa (Goa), Kerala Blasters FC (Kochi) and Chennaiyin FC (Chennai) are the team names.

Who are the coaches?

  • Delhi - Harm van Veldhoven (The Netherlands); Northeast - Ricki Herbert (New Zealand); Kolkata - Antonio Lopes Habas (Spain); Mumbai - Peter Reid (England); Pune - Franco Colomba (Italy); Goa - Zico (Brazil); Kerala - David Benjamin James (Marquee player and coach) (England); Chennaiyin - Marco Materazzi (Player and coach) (Italy).

How many domestic and international players in each team?

  • Each franchise needs to sign 14 Indian players in a minimum squad of 22. Each team has 1 marquee player (foreign) and 7 internationals.

Which are the stadiums for ISL matches?

  • Delhi - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium; Guwahati - Indira Gandhi Stadium; Kolkata - Salt Lake Stadium; Mumbai - DY Patil Stadium; Pune - Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium; Goa - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda); Kochi - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium; Chennai - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Who are the owners?

  • Delhi - DEN Network; Northeast - John Abraham and Shillong Lajong FC; Kolkata - Atletico de Madrid football club, Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka, Utsav Parekh; Mumbai - Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh; Pune - Hrithik Roshan and Wadhawan Group; Goa - Virat Kohli, Videocon Group, Dattaraj Salgaocar, Shrinivas Dempo; Kerala - Sachin Tendulkar and Prasad V Potluri; Chennaiyin - MS Dhoni, Abhishek Bachchan, Vita Dani.

When does the league start and end?

  • ISL starts on October 12, 2014 in Kolkata and the final is on December 20.

How many matches will be played in 2014 edition?

  • There will be 61 matches over 70 days, to be played in the inaugural edition of ISL.

What are the start times of matches?

  • On a day when only one match is played, the game starts at 7 PM IST. On two games on the same day, the opening contest begins at 4.30 PM IST and second at 7.00 PM. There are five days of double headers.

How many players in total for the first edition?

  • There are 212 players. Team-wise squad strength - Delhi - 26; Northeast - 27; Kolkata - 26; Mumbai - 26; Pune - 26; Goa - 25; Kerala - 28; Chennai - 28.

How many foreign players?

  • There are 94 foreign players signed up by teams for the first edition including 8 marquee footballers.

Who are the marquee players?

  • Delhi - Alessandro Del Piero (Italy); Notheast - Joan Capdevila (Spain); Kolkata - Luis Garcia (Spain); Mumbai - Fredrik Ljungberg (Sweden); Pune - David Trezeguet (France); Goa - Robert Pires (France); Kerala - David Benjamin James (England); Chennaiyin - Elano Blumer (Brazil)

Where to watch ISL?

  • ISL matches will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports network, on 8 channels. "It (ISL) will be telecast live on 8 channels of the Star network: Star Sports 2 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Sports HD 2 (English), Star Gold (Hindi), Star Utsav (Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies(Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada). Furthermore, it would also be aired live on www.starsports.com," the organisers said.

Where to buy tickets?

  • You can book tickets online at www.indiansuperleague.com and also buy at stadium box offices.

When is the Opening Ceremony and who will perform?

  • According to the organisers, the Opening Ceremony is from 6 PM IST (on-ground entertainment starts 5.20 PM) at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra will be performing along with others. "Tickets to the Grand Opening Ceremony and first match of Hero Indian Super League are priced between Rs 200 to 2500. Book your tickets online at www.indiansuperleague.com. Tickets are also available at Salt Lake Stadium box office at the Stadium," the organisers said.

Where and when will the first match be played?

  • The opening game will be on October 12 at 7 PM IST between Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

What is the format of the tournament?

  • The league will be played on home/away basis. Each team faces the other twice (home and away). The top four qualify for a two-legged semi-finals followed by the two semi-finals' winners contesting the final on December 20 (venue to be decided).

What is the prize money?

  • The champions will get Rs 8 crores while the runner-up receives Rs 4 crores. Semi-finalists will take home Rs 1.5 crore each.

Who has designed the ISL Trophy?

  • Designed by Frazer & Haws, the Indian Super League trophy stands 26 inches tall. The logo on the top band has the ISL colours assigned to it and the handles are ornately carved and embellished with 24k gold gilt to imbue a sense of pride when held up, the organisers said.

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