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The Rise of Football in India

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Football in India -11icBlog2

Football is a team sports, the world’s popular ball game played between two teams of 11 players . It is played in accordance with a set of rules.

In India , football was historical ,it has been among the top 3 most popular sports in terms of player participation and TV viewership. In 2014, India’s top domestic football league also known as the Indian Super League , an unrecognized professional league with 8 teams to promote Indian Football . The establishment of new leagues in football will get the opportunity to showcase their talent and to get involve in their favorite sports.

Brief History of Football in India:

Football was the national sport at one time. It was introduce by British soldier to Indians , it spread because of the efforts of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari , the known father of Indian Football. In 1888 the Durand Cup was founded , it is the third oldest football competition behind the FA Cup. As several clubs were founded , more Cup tournaments were introduce to India and Indian players became more common.

Indian National Team:

In 1924, the first official international tour of the Indian team , players are consisted of both Indian and British led by the Indian footballer Gostha paul.

The Indian National Football Team is the national team of India , it is governed by the All India Football Federation or the AIFF and there are also a number of other national from Under-23 team to Under-17 team . Under-23 is considered to be the feeder team for the national team.

Indian Leagues and Cup Competition for Football

National Football League

It was the first football league in India organized on a national scale that was founded year 1996 , aim to develop the sport in the country and to give platform for Indian Footballers.


After the end of 2006-07 season , AIFF disbanded the National Football League after missing the aim of professionalism , as an replacement AIFF introduce I- League with ten clubs from the last season of NFL .

I-League 2nd division

The National Football League’s second division was succeeded by I- League by the second division . 2017-18 season , the league saw introduction of I- League reserves and these teams aren’t eligible to get promoted since I- League is a top division.

Indian Super League

2017, the AFC were against allowing the Indian Super League as the main league in India .

Federation Cup

It is an annual knock out style club tournament in India that started o year 1977 . It was the most reputable national level club football tournament in India.

Durand Cup

It was basically initiated as a recreation for British troops. It was started year 1888 .

Super Cup

It is a knockout football tournament . the top six teams from the top tier leagues for professional football in India.

Santosh Trophy

It is an annual Indian football tournament contested by states and government institutions.

Lal Bahadur Shastri Cup

Lal Bahadur Shastri Cup also known as Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Football Tournament an Indian association football tournament organized by the Shastri Football Club.

State Leagues Football

Most of lower level states leagues are considered as a semi- professional. These states association have a states leagues affiliated .

Indian Women’s League

Women’s football doesn’t got a chance to spread through the country like its male counterpart. On April 2016 , after a year AIFF stared planning for Women’s Football League. It was announce that the league would feature 8 teams . The winner will be qualified for the national finals.

Nehru Cup

It is an International tournament organized by All India Football Federation .

Tri- Nation Series

It was a 3 team association football tournament organized By AIFF year 2017.

Intercontinental Cup

It is a 4 team association football tournament organized by AIFF.

Learned and Enjoy your favorite sports. Check and Visit 11ic for more information.

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