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India’s Football Fiesta | List of Football Leagues & Tournaments in India

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Football leagues and tournaments in India have played a pivotal role in promoting the sport and captivating the nation’s affection. These competitions have established a platform for skilled players to exhibit their abilities, nurturing a profound love for the exquisite game. Whether it be the exhilarating action of the Indian Super League (ISL) or the intense clashes within the I-League, these leagues have enthralled fans with gripping matches, intense rivalries, and unforgettable moments. With their escalating popularity, football tournaments have united communities, motivated young talents, and enhanced the overall standard of the sport in India. This surge of enthusiasm is paving the way for a promising future in Indian football.

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Football Leagues & Tournaments In India

S.N Football Tournaments in India
1 Indian Super League
2 I-League
3 Durand Cup
4 IFA Shield
5 Subroto Cup
6 Santosh Trophy

Football Leagues in India: Indian Super League (ISL)

India’s Football Fiesta | List of Football Leagues & Tournaments in India - KreedOn
Image Source: Wiki

The Indian Super League is a professional football league that, together with the I-League, is one of two co-existing top levels in the Indian football system. The Football Sports Development is in charge of organizing the event, which is backed by the All-India Football Federation.

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) is India’s most significant football tournament, which began on October 12, 2014. The league’s first champions were ATK, while the second season’s winners were Chennaiyin FC. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and its commercial partners Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) are responsible for overseeing the league, which currently consists of 12 clubs.


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Football Leagues in India: I-League

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The I-League, also known as the Hero I-League due to its sponsorship agreement with Hero MotoCorp, is the second-tier men’s professional football tournament within the Indian football league system. It features a total of 12 clubs from across the country who compete for the opportunity to be promoted to the premier division, known as the Indian Super League. The league was established in 2007 as a replacement for the National Football League and commenced its first season in November of that year. It was introduced as India’s inaugural top-tier professional football league with the objective of expanding the talent pool for the national team.


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Football Tournaments in India: Durand Cup

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It has always had a following, despite being one of the world’s oldest competitions, dating back to the pre-independence days. Sir Mortimer Durand, the Foreign Secretary in charge of India from 1884 until 1894, was the Tournament’s creator. He decided to give a reward to stimulate sports competition in India after becoming aware of the significance of sport as a method of maintaining health. 

It was reserved mostly for British Indian Army personnel in India, but over time it broadened its popularity and opened up to civilian teams, eventually becoming a more open and traditional athletic competition. In 2006, the Army handed over control of the Tournament to a civilian administration, marking the final significant administrative shift. 

Football tournaments in India: IFA Shield

India’s Football Fiesta | List of Football Leagues & Tournaments in India- KreedOn
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The IFA Shield football event was originally organized by India’s first football regulatory organization, the Indian Football Association. It was also in this competition that Indian footballers showed that they were equally as good as their English counterparts. In 1911, Mohun Bagan created history by defeating East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1. While Mohun Bagan won the IFA Shield 20 times, East Bengal was the most successful team (with 29 title wins).

Over the years, this league has seen a number of fierce rivalries – such as East Bengal vs. Mohun Bagan – and has hosted a number of international clubs that have been invited to compete. Iran, Brazil, Russia, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, and even North Korea have all competed in the IFA Shield.


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Football tournaments in India: Subroto Cup

Subroto Cup | KreedOn
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The Subroto Cup Football Tournament is one of India’s most well-known inter-school football events, named after Indian Air Force Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. The competition began in 1960 with around 50 school teams, including schools from Nepal and Afghanistan. Over the years, the tournament has expanded to include schools from all over the world. The event has been held in two age divisions since 1998: sub-junior (U14) and junior (U16) (U17). WEST BENGAL’S Madhyamgram High School is known for winning this competition (U17) seven times in total, including a hattrick in 1981-82-83.

Football tournaments in India: Santosh Trophy

India’s Football Fiesta | List of Football Leagues & Tournaments in India - KreedOn
Image Source- TOI

The Santosh Trophy is an annual football competition in India that pits states and government institutions against one another. Bengal was the initial winner, and they continue to lead the all-time winner’s list with 32 championships.

Prior to the inception of the National Football League in 1996, the Santosh Trophy held the prestigious position as the premier domestic competition in India. It served as a significant platform for numerous players who went on to represent the country at the international level, earning recognition and accolades during their participation in the Santosh Trophy.


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