Indian Football News is a comprehensive resource that provides the latest updates and stories from around the world of sport. It features live scores, fixtures, team results and more from top football leagues in India.
The national football teams of India are managed and controlled by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). They participate in international tournaments and competitions around the world.
The All India Football Federation
The All India Football Federation is the governing body for football in India. It has several objectives, such as creating and enforcing policies related to the game, raising standards within it, and building and maintaining infrastructure for football in India.
The AIFF was established in 1937 and is headquartered in New Delhi. It is affiliated with FIFA, the world governing body for football.
In addition to its duties, the AIFF strives to increase interest in volleyball in India by promoting the game and encouraging youth participation. Furthermore, they host coaching courses and seminars for coaches to hone their skills.
Since its founding, the AIFF has had a major influence over Indian football’s development. It has helped raise standards by encouraging participation in competitions and setting rules and guidelines for play. Furthermore, it created the Indian Super League – an elite professional football league featuring top domestic and international players – which further elevated professionalism within the sport.
Early in the All India Football Federation’s existence, it was difficult to promote and develop the sport in India. But with time, AIFF has made remarkable strides in this regard; improving standards of play, creating the Indian Super League competition, and building a formidable national team.
AIFF’s efforts to promote football in India have been successful, leading to an uptick in popularity and an increase in international matches. Furthermore, AIFF is working hard to build relationships with other national football federations and FIFA – the global governing body for this sport – in order to expand its global reach.
In June 2022, a joint seven-member Fifa/AFC delegation visited the country to hold discussions with the CoA and other stakeholders. They set out an aggressive timeline for the AIFF to adhere to or else risk being banned from competition.
On July 13th, the CoA sent Fifa the final draft of their new constitution and shortly after, the Supreme Court followed suit on July 16th.
On July 18th, state FAs wrote to Fifa expressing their displeasure with several clauses in the CoA’s draft constitution, such as those which would enable the AIFF to enter into commercial deals without democratic approval. Their marketing partners, FSDL, also sought intervention from the Supreme Court which ultimately ruled that commercial interests should be handled by an elected body and urged the AIFF to expedite election preparations due to lack of time.
The Indian Super League
The Indian Super League is the premier football competition in India, featuring many of the country’s greatest stars. Organised by FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited) and Star Sports, this 11-team league cum knockout format tournament sees each team play 20 matches before playoffs begin.
The International Soccer League (ISL) is a popular competition that has seen rapid growth since its debut season in 2014. With an average stadium attendance rate of 27,111 people per match, the ISL ranks alongside major European leagues such as Spain’s La Liga and Italian Serie A for its level of fanaticism.
ISL clubs have done a remarkable job of building engagement and followings across various social media platforms. On Twitter alone, they boast over 800,000 followers – more than Italy’s Serie A has in total.
However, the league is facing financial issues and many clubs are losing money annually. They generate income through ticket sales, merchandise sales and sponsorships but these revenues do not cover player salaries or franchise fees.
Furthermore, most clubs do not own stadiums or academies, necessitating them to rely on third parties for these services. This poses a disadvantage since the clubs lack control over their finances compared to European clubs who possess full control over their assets.
Indian football’s highest-ranking competition, the league seeks to bring India closer to world football’s elite levels. Additionally, it promotes youth football in India with many of its young players having triedouts at major European clubs.
In the ISL, a new developmental league has been launched that will feature teams from all ISL clubs. This competition features U-21 and reserve-team players with the aim of grooming them into future stars.
The ISL is one of the most beloved tournaments in India, boasting record stadium attendance. In 2021 alone, more than 130 million people watched ISL matches live on television.
The Indian Women’s League
The Indian Women’s League (IWL) is a national women’s football league in India, run by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). This franchised competition features teams from different parts of India and was first launched in 2016-17 with 16 clubs participating.
The league is divided into two groups, with the top four sides qualifying for knockout stage play-offs. The victor of each group will then play off in a final to determine who will be crowned champion.
This season, 12 teams participated in the IWL, including some state women’s league winners or top four sides from last year’s league. Gokulam Kerala FC are defending champions and two-time winners of this league; they will be heavy favorites this year.
On Tuesday night, Kalyan Chaubey and Shaji Prabhakaran from the AIFF met with club officials at IWL headquarters in New Delhi to discuss plans for a shorter tournament format. With this news, Chaubey and Prabhakaran will begin working towards creating an innovative tournament schedule.
Though the league will be condensed, it will still feature 11 state-level football league champions and the top four teams from last season. The 15 teams will be divided into two groups; the top three from each group will advance to the super-six round which will decide who wins overall.
One of the primary objectives of the league is to elevate women’s football in India. A strategic roadmap has been devised by its think-tank with the objective of reaching this milestone by 2026, bringing women’s football closer to parity with men’s game in India and encouraging female participation.
Moreover, the league will be tailored to a wide range of ages and abilities. The tier structure will begin at the state level and progress up to national competition. Tiers will be separated into senior, junior, youth and cadet categories for added diversity.
The league also hopes to promote women’s participation in other sports, such as hockey. To motivate them further, it will host training camps and events for younger players. Furthermore, it promotes sports science and medical services to guarantee young female athletes remain healthy and capable of performing at their best.
The Indian National Teams
The Indian National Teams are the country’s representative football squads. Since 1930, they have competed in international tournaments and competitions around the world, as well as playing a few friendly matches against other teams for fun.
The All India Football Federation, which oversees the Indian National Teams, conducts a scouting program. During this exercise, coaches search for players with potential to join their national team.
They may invite players to a national camp for further trials based on the recommendations of scouts. Scouts are typically members of the media or sports journalists trained in keeping an eye out for talented aspiring players who meet the national team’s requirements.
For years, the team has worn blue jerseys as their main hue – taken from the Ashoka chakra on the Indian flag. This color has become widely associated with India and was chosen due to its universal recognition within the nation’s visual identity.
In 2002, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a contract with German manufacturer Adidas to produce kits for their national team. After four years, however, they switched over to Nike as their primary supplier of uniforms.
Kit colors have evolved over the years, but blue remains the predominant hue. Recently, other colours such as saffron and green have been added to the repertoire; these can often be seen on jerseys from neighboring countries.
Though India has never won a World Cup or Asian Cup, they have consistently dominated Indian domestic soccer and boast several players who have represented their country at international events. A young and talented group led by Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia has helped elevate the national team’s reputation in recent years.
Legendary coach SA Rahim led India at three Olympics and two Asian Games, becoming the first Indian coach to win an Olympic gold medal. His efforts are widely credited with reigniting Indian football after its long decline following independence in 1947.
He is the first Indian coach to win an Asian Games gold medal and the only coach to have earned both Arjuna and Dronacharya awards. Unfortunately, his relationship with team captain Bhaichung Bhutia became strained during 2006 World Cup qualifiers when both went public with criticism of each other.