Monday, December 19, 2016

Indian Super League: the new football league in India

The Indian Super League or ISL is officially known as the Hero Indian Super League for sponsorship reasons. It is a league founded in 2013 with the aim to popularize the game of football in India and make Indian football more globally competitive. The ISL follows the pattern adopted in the United States (NASL, MLS, NBA), and is structured with a system of allowances consists of eight teams created especially for the tournament.

ISL 2016 was the third edition, which was won for the second time by Atletico de Kolkata after beating Kerala Blasters in the final after a penalty shootout.

Beyond the technical results and the values at stake, what was most important to test during the first edition, being a debut football professional in the Indian subcontinent, was the response of the local public, long accustomed and obsessed with cricket. From the point of view of the attendance in the stadiums, it cannot be said that the first edition of the Indian Super League has been a failure.

In fact, more than a million and a half fans have traveled to stadiums to cheer their heroes, and why not, also see the work of some former football legends like Del Piero, Trezeguet, Materazzi, Anelka, David James, etc.

The two finalist teams Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata were also the team with the highest average-spectators, having had a turnout more than 40,000 people per game. From the perspective of relative instead, correlating the capacity of the stadium with the average audience was the team of the FC Goa to have had the greatest percentage of turnout in fact 91% of the seats available in the stadium were always occupied.

Accomplice perhaps the stadium small approximately 20,000 seats, the percentage of this match was very high. Disappointing, to some extent, the response of the city of New Delhi, the capital, for if the stage offered certain guarantees modern property with approximately 60,000 seats, the turnout, however, were very low with an average audience around 15,000 present and a saturation of the system equal to 26% of capacity. Perhaps the disappointing season of Del Piero and friends did not know how to captivate and properly attach the demanding Indian fans.

We end this review on newborn Indian football through the analysis of the average number of spectators per game with reference to football teams. Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters are in the top 5 clubs in the Old Continent along with River Plate, Seattle Sounders, and Club America but play their games at the Azteca stadium in magic Mexico City, as well plant 105,000 seats.

That India become a world power of football is still early to say that the football and exceeds the cricket as a sport most loved by the locals is as well. What clearly emerges from the first edition of the Indian Super League is that football is not so shunned both from the people is by the sponsors as you might think or how you believe in the collective.

isl ATK final winner

The movement is definitely growing, and within a few years, India could really become a nation of reference in this regard in Southeast Asia. Many clubs may choose to have partnerships with local teams (already the case with Atletico de Kolkata or even with Pune FC when Fiorentina has a stake) and develop young people through the academies where these kids grow properly.

The ISL 2015 was the second edition. The season was held from September to December 2015. Three changes this year was in Delhi Dynamos, Harm van Veldhoven goes away and leaves the bench to compatriot René Meulensteen, the bench of the Kerala Blasters, the Englishman Peter Taylor takes the place of his compatriot David James, while the bench Pune City another Englishman, David Platt, takes the reins of the team in place of Franco Colomba.

The Indian Super League is one of two major professional leagues of football Indians, along with the I-League and is a championship of eight teams participating from all over the India. The first step is the regular season, with each team contest 14 games, 7 at home and 7 away in a round robin tournament. The top four teams qualify directly for the play-offs.

The four teams from qualifiers compete in the playoffs to determine the league winner. In the semi-finals will play 2 games (roundtrip), while the final race is unique. The championship takes place between October and December. The format of the championship does not provide for a system of promotion and relegation.

2014: first season, eight teams: Atlético de Kolkata, Chennaiyin FC, Delhi Dynamos FC, ​​FC Goa, Kerala Blasters FC, ​​Mumbai City FC, ​​NorthEast United FC and FC Pune City.
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