The wait is almost over for Indian football fans. Indian Super League season (ISL) 2020-21 will kick-start from Friday when Kerala Blaster will lock horns with ATK Mohun Bagan. Blasters have reached the finals of ISL twice, failing both times against the Kolkata side. The Kolkata team led by Spanish coach Antonio Lopez Habas, is the most successful team in the ISL having won 3 titles. However, there have been some massive changes in the team. 131-year-old club Mohun Bagan, which is one of Asia’s oldest clubs, merged with ISL club ATK to form ATK Mohun Bagan.
Can East Bengal remain behind if its arch-rival moves to another league? Football in India is unthinkable without the Kolkata derby. Soon after Mohun Bagan merged with ATK, East Bengal with its sponsor Shree Cement joined the ISL to continue the legendary rivalry. Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will be managing East Bengal. The Hero ISL's first Kolkata Derby — SC East Bengal vs ATK Mohun Bagan — will take place on 27th November at Tilak Maidan stadium.
With East Bengal joining the league, there will be 11 teams playing 115 matches over the next few months. Due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s edition will be played entirely in Goa inside a bio-bubble without spectators.
The 2020-21 edition of Super League will also be Mumbai City FC’s first season under new owners City Football Group which is a holding company that manages 9 different clubs across the world, including English Premier League side Manchester City. Hyderabad FC, playing its second season, has tied-up with German giants Borussia Dortmund and Spanish Segunda Division B team Marbella FC. FC Goa has also announced a strategic partnership with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.
The ISL clubs have managed to bag players who have played in English Premier League, Spanish League, Uefa Champions League, Australian League, among others. Spanish players and coaches dominate the foreign signings, adding Spanish flavour to ISL 2020-21. With some of the best signings yet made in Indian football, ISL 2020-21 promises to be a power-packed season.
Clubs participating in ISL 2020-21
- ATK Mohun Bagan
- Bengaluru FC
- Chennaiyin FC
- FC Goa
- Hyderabad FC
- Jamshedpur FC
- Kerala Blasters FC
- Mumbai City FC
- NorthEast United FC
- Odisha FC
- SC East Bengal
ISL 2020-21 match, venue and live streaming details
ISL 2020-21 venues
All the matches will be played in Goa inside a bio-bubble due to coronavirus restrictions. Safety protocols will have to be followed by the teams before every match.
Venues for ISL 2020-21:
- The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Fatorda
- Tilak Nagar stadium in Vasco da Gama
- GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim
12 training pitches have been allotted to the teams. No spectator will be allowed inside the stadium.
ISL 2020-21 live streaming details
All the matches will be shown live on Star Sports Network and Asianet Plus. The matches will also be available online on Disney+Hotstar VIP and JIO TV.
ISL 2020-21 fixtures
Fixtures for the first 11 rounds have been declared. The remaining 55 matches will be declared in December after clarity on calendar dates of Asian Football Confederation. The dates for semi-final and the final are yet to be finalised.