Fact Box: Federation Cup and Other Football Tournaments & Leagues in India
On 21st May, 2017, the Bengaluru FC defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0 to win the Federation Cup. The final event was held in Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha.
Federation Cup is India’s first major football competition involving the clubs. It was established by the All India Football Federation in 1977. During 1980s and 1990s, it was considered to be most popular foot ball tournament in India. The other popular football tournaments of India include Durand Cup, Santosh Trophy, Indian Super League, Subroto Cup, IFA Shield etc. Important facts about these tournaments are given below:
Durand Cup is India’s oldest football tournament and is among the oldest in the world. It is named after its founder Sir Mortimer Durand, who served as Foreign Secretary in charge of India from 1884 to 1894. The first Durand Cup tournament was held in 1888. In the beginning, it was an Army cup for the British Indian Army troops. Over the years, it opened up for civilian teams. In 2006, the army passed its administration to civilians’ organizations called Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS) and Osians. The latest Durand Cup Tournament was held in 2016 and current champion is Army Green.
IFA Shield is second oldest football competition of India organized by Indian Football Association and in existence since 1893. Since 2015, IFA Shield has been designed as an under-19 youth football tournament. Its current sponsor is LG and latest competition was held in 2016, won by Tata Football Academy.
Subroto Cup Football Tournament is an inter-school football tournament named after Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. It was started in 1960. More than 50 school teams participate in this competition including schools from Nepal and Afghanistan. It is conducted by the Indian Air Force, with support from India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. The Madhyamgram High School, in West Bengal us known for winning this tournament for seven times.
Santosh Trophy, started in 1941, is an annual Indian football tournament platyed by states and government institutions. It is named after Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, who served as President of the IFA. The first winners were Bengal. West Bengal has been the most successful team in the tournament and also the current champion with its 32nd title in hand.
Indian Super League
Indian Super League (ISL) [Offocially Hero ISL] is a men’s professional football league. It was founded in 2013 and is based on franchise model on the lines of IPL. Currently, there are eight teams in ISL viz. Atlético de Kolkata; Chennaiyin FC; Delhi Dynamos; Goa; Kerala Blasters; Mumbai City; North East United and Pune City. So far three seasons have held of which two have been won by Atlético de Kolkata (2014 & 2016) while one season was won by Chennaiyin FC (2015).
I-League (officially Hero I League) is another professional league in football in India. It was launched in 2007 as ONGC I-League and as a successor of National Football League. So far, nine sessions have been conducted of this league. It is contested by 10 football clubs and considered to be the primary competition in Indian football. The 10 clubs are Aizawl, Bengaluru FC, Chennai City, Churchill Brothers, DSK Shivajians, East Bengal, Minerva Punjab, Mohun Bagan, Mumbai and Shillong Lajong.