- A total of 11 franchises are participating in the 7th season of ISL which is divided into three groups.
- 115 total matches will be played this season, 20 matches will be played for one team in league stage.
- ATK has captured the title 3 times, the tournament started with the match between Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters
Amidst stringent health safety regulations in vacant stadiums, today will be the beginning of the seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) Football Tournament, which is the first major tournament to be held in the country since the Corona lockdown was implemented eight months ago.
The tournament will begin with the match between former champions ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Goa. However the first biggest match of the season will be played on 27 November between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal in Fatorda where two traditional rival teams will start their 100-year-old rivalry in a new avatar.
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This tournament, which runs from November to March, is being held in Goa only this time due to the epidemic.
ATK strength increased
Club ATK Mohun Bagan, formed after the merger of last year’s champion ATK and ILIG team Mohun Bagan, will start this franchise-based tournament as a strong contender for the title. The team has contracted a few players like India’s star defender Sandesh Jhingan while retaining key players from last year’s champion team ATK including Roy Krishna of Fiji.
Fiji’s Roy Krishna
Roy was the joint top goal scorer of the previous season with 15 goals in 21 matches. Roy played the captaincy in the final and ATK’s team was successful in winning the third ISL title. In addition to Roy, coach Antonio Habas has selected Spain midfielder Edu Garcia, India’s Pritam Kotal, Arindam Bhattacharya and Jhingan as captain in the current season.
Hugo’s loss to Goa!
On the other hand FC Goa, who became the first Indian team to qualify for the AFC Champions League after winning the last season’s league round, suffered a loss from their star forward Ferran Corominas and Hugo Bomas. These two have been included in the list of most goalscorers in the ISL over the years.
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BCCI President Ganguly too excited
The BCCI President Saurabh Ganguly is excited about the start of ISL as he believes that its successful event will ease the fear of organizing major competitions across the country. Ganguly recently oversaw the successful conduct of the IPL in the bio-bubble in the UAE. He said, ‘The first sports competition will be held in India after the lockdown. This is a great start because life needs to return to normalcy. I think a good ISL season will clear all doubts.