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I-League

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trivia
The I League is one of the two highest professional football leagues in India, the other one being the Indian Super League. A unique setup with two top divisions where the I League is the oldest and most historic one. Get to know more about the competition, teams and records here and make sure to use Tvsports.in to never miss a game from the I League live on TV or stream.

I League – How it started


The league was founded in 2007, replacing the National Football League which had been played since 1996. Football has always had a tough time to attract a large-scale fan base in India. Competing against sports like cricket has been close to impossible. In an effort to increase the interest in football the I League was created and even if it has a long way to go, the league is growing stronger for every year.

Teams


There are 11 teams competing in the league. New teams for the upcoming season are Mohammedan Sporting, after being promoted from the second division, and Sudeva FC who earned a direct entry. Mohun Bagan, the champions from 2019/20, will not be a part of the I League 2020/21 since they have merged with ATK, a club from the other top division, ISL.

Previous champions


2019/20 – Mohun Bagan (Season was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic)
2018/19 – Chennai City
2017/18 – Minerva Punjab
2016/17 – Aizawl
2015/16 – Bengaluru

Dempo is the team that has won the most league trophies, although the last one was almost ten years ago. The 2019/20 season was cancelled before all games had been played due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and so Mohun Bagan was crowned champions with only 16 games played.

Top 3 largest stadiums


1. Kozhikode EMS Stadium, Gokulam Kerala – 80 000
2. Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, TRAU and NEROCA – 35 000
3. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai City – 30 000

The 2020/21 season will be affected by the Covid situation and exactly how the competition will be played is not decided. There’re rumours that the season is going to be shortened and that all games will be played in a pre-decided area of India to prevent unnecessary travelling. There are discussions about starting the league season in the beginning of January 2021 and to divide the 11 teams into two divisions. This would make it possible to shorten the season and be able to finish it in time. More news and updates regarding the upcoming season can be expected in the nearest future.

The winner of the 2020/21 season will be crowned champions and qualify for the 2022 AFC Cup. As usual the team finishing on 11th place will be relegated to the second division. When it comes to teams from the I League and their performances in continental club tournaments there has been ups and downs. In the AFC Cup the Indian teams have performed well and even if no Indian team has ever won the title, Bengaluru FC reached the final in 2015/16. In the AFC Champions League, it has been tougher for the Indian teams. In fact, no team has ever managed to proceed from the qualifiers.

Where can I watch I League on TV and stream?


If you want to watch the I League live on TV and stream you will do yourself a favour by using Tvsports.in, a TV-guide with information about all broadcasted games. Since the 2019/20 season the I League has been contracted by Lex Sportel Vision Pvt. Ltd. On 1Sports you will be able to follow the I League live and with TVsports.in you will find all the dates, channels and kick-off times.