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Football Tournaments In India | Complete List of All The Domestic Football Tournaments In India

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Despite having an amazing history in football, India’s preoccupation with cricket overshadows the fact that it hosts some of the world’s oldest football tournaments in India.

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Some of the country’s main competitive events include the IFA Shield, Durand Cup, Federation Cup, Santosh Trophy, Indian Super Cup, and Subroto Cup.

These tournaments have lost their original luster over time, with some being completely forgotten and others losing their star power. Despite the absence of star teams or known teams, the 2016 edition of India’s oldest and third oldest event, the Durand Cup, had a thrilling finish. It demonstrated, not for the first time, that small groups can make a big difference if given the chance on a regular basis. Despite the presence of a few, I league clubs like as Dempo, DSK Shivajians, and Aizawl FC in the competitions, it was two first-timers that reached the final, which was enthusiastically greeted by the crowds who packed the stadiums.

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The survival of these ancient competitions may fall to new clubs, with the future of Indian football leagues remaining clouded by questions and a lack of enough time for the organizations. A look at some of India’s best or ‘once-best’ tournaments:

Complete List of All Football Tournaments In India

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

Football tournaments in India: Durand Cup

Image Source: Durand Cup

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 began as essentially an Army cup, 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. Several military teams, including an Army green, contribute to the Army’s presence, including one that just won a tournament.

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Football tournaments in India: IFA Shield

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Calcutta was the default capital for the British, thus it’s only natural that football would originate from here. 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 22 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, but the 2005 edition included perhaps the largest of these clubs. Bayern Munich beat United SC (then known as Eveready) and won the cup, despite the fact that it was their reserve squad.

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Football tournaments in India: Subroto Cup

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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.

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Football tournaments in India: Santosh Trophy

ImageSource: Wiki

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 31 championships.

Prior to the establishment of the National Football League in 1996, it was the country’s top football tournament, having begun in 1941. The IFA also contributed the runners-up trophy, the Kamla Gupta Trophy, which is named for the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, who was the President of the IFA, Bengal’s football organization. The Sampangi Cup was awarded by the Mysore Football Association (now KSFA) to the third-place teams in honor of Sampangi, a famous Mysore player.

With 31 championships to date, West Bengal has been the most successful team in the competition.

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Indian Super Cup

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Football tournaments in India: The Indian Super Cup, similar to the Community Shield in England, is a one-off annual Indian club association football match between the I-League champions and the Fed Cup winners. If both the I-League and the Federation Cup have the same victor, the league runners-up will be the second team.

Indian Super League (ISL)

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Football tournaments in India: 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. ATK reclaimed the championship in the third season of the Hero ISL. They are second in three years, while Chennaiyin reclaimed the trophy in the fourth season. In the 2018-19 season, Bengaluru FC won the title.

The league’s eleven franchises are based in the following cities. Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Jamshedpur.

As a robust grassroots development program that will provide a platform for the country’s football potential to grow. It will raise Indian football to an international level, with the purpose to revolutionize the sport.

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