Indian Super League vs I-League: What’s the difference?

We are witnessing history for sure. Beyond any doubt, Indian Super League represents the birth of a Footballing nation. As the country hooks into yet another glamorous league, the question that remains is, what will happen India’s top tier football league, the I-League and the clubs affiliated to it?

So, what exactly is I-League?

Long before we know Ronaldo and Messi as the icons of this sport, we had a complete league system in place in India. The top of the league structure is the ‘airtel’ I-League, formerly in its most popular avatar as the ‘ONGC I-League’. It is the Indian version of the British’ Barclays Premier League or Spanish La Liga. It adopts the same structure as them, with multiple tiers called as divisions.

ISL vs I-League

Basically, those two cannot be compared at all. To put in a cricket perspective, ISL is the 2-month glitzy festival like the IPL, while I-League is bigger and longer Ranji Trophy. The only difference is I-League teams are again franchisees unlike the Ranji trophy teams that represent state cricket associations.

Player Selection

The I-League teams (except a few top-tier teams) are mostly composed of local talent of where the club is situated and based on their financial stability, they could get even foreign player to play for them. Wherein ISL, the players are given to different teams via a draft system (similar to how we take teams in Gully cricket), except two teams (more on that coming).

Why not I-League teams in ISL?

ISL is all about popularizing the sport in the country and that needs a lot of money. You need to get big names into the team, pay them, give world class training facilities and all these comes at a cost. But most I-League teams have not yet broke-even (again, except some top-tier clubs). It would not be commercially viable for them to be a part of the ISL. But – two I-League teams are actually part of the Indian Super League. FC Goa is owned by Dempo FC and NorthEast United FC is owned by Shillong Lajong FC. The domestic players for these teams are taken from their respective I-League teams rather than the player draft.

Why not Bangalore?

Initially, there was a team for Bangalore in the ISL, which even participated in the domestic player draft. But due to unspecified reasons, the team pulled back and Chennai was roped in to fill the spot, with the players selected by the Bangalore team moving to Chennai forming the Chennaiyin FC. Interestingly, the I-League team Bangalore FC is the current champions of India’s top tier football.

ISL – Good or Bad for I-League?

The most part of India, doesn’t know what football is all about. ISL is about to change that. And that change will definitely have a positive result on the I-League as well.

So, C’mon India, Let’s Football..


I’m back!

It’s been quite a sometime since I last wrote a blog. Reasons many, one being my job. But there has been a lot, in the meantime, I wanted to write, but I couldn’t. And finally here, I’m back to writing.

As I decided to write again, I had to decide on what platform should I continue. I had four choices in my mind

  • Tumblr, as my blogs are always short
  • Medium, the hot chick in the town
  • WordPress, tried and tested
  • WordPress backend running on a hosted server

Why no Blogger? Blogger is too mainstream to be considered. And there are quite a few things I don’t like about Google itself. I have long been trying to come out of the Google Empire (that is a separate story, more later).

I had no real allegations against WordPress. But just wanted to consider a few more options. But eventually I have rejected everything and reached back home. I’ll tell you why.


It’s been there for quite some time. But as I went through a lot of blog posts on Tumblr, one thing is clear. It is more about pictures or texts among pictures. But mine is going to be predominantly text. So that is out.


I really wanted to write in Medium. From a reputed clan, it is the hot new thing that everyone wants. There is a big but though. You cannot have a design out of it. Yes, it is minimal. But give me at least a simple design choice, Jack. I want to be me.

And there is WordPress backend

It’s quite cool. I loved it. And it’s coming along. There have been some advantages of hosting it on but now with Jetpack plugin everything is here too. I’m redesigning my website to be predominantly blog oriented. And when it is done, I will be migrating to it.

So far now, I’m back and on WordPress. More soon…