Sports

ISL returns for a fourth season

17 Nov 2017 | By Vijaya
Indian Super League 2017-18 season preview

Indian Super League (ISL) returns for a fourth season with Kerala Blasters taking on defending champions ATK in today's opener, in a repeat of the 2016 season final.

The top-tier league of Indian football, has added more teams this season and with it comes a longer season.

As the new season starts, let's find out more details about ISL 2017-18.

In context: Indian Super League 2017-18 season preview

17 Nov 2017ISL returns for a fourth season

Longest seasonISL 2017-18 schedule

ISL season four is scheduled to start on 17th November 2017 and will conclude with a finale in mind-March.

The 95-match tournament will consist of 90 games where 10 teams will play each other in home-and-away matches; two-legged semi-finals making it 4 games; and a final.

The season is the longest yet lasting close to 120 days.

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What's new?

TeamsWhat's new?

The 2017-18 ISL will include 10 teams, with addition of two new teams- Bengaluru FC, and Jamshedpur FC.

While Bengaluru FC is a reputed I-league club making a switch to ISL, Jamshedpur FC is a brand new entity owned by the Tata group.

Moving to ISL is a logical step for Bengaluru FC considering the league is recognized by Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Winner qualifies for AFC Cup

Since ISL is recognized as the national league, its winner books a direct spot in the AFC Cup which is the Asia's equivalent of UEFA's Europa League.

Domestic talentMore home grown players to be featured

In a positive development for Indian football, ISL will feature more Indian players.

Clubs are now limited to fielding five foreign players meaning there will at least be six Indian players on field. Additionally, each team needs to have at least 17 Indian players in their 25-player squad.

A good 165 domestic players have been contracted with the 10 franchises for the 2017-18 edition.