Mumbai: The 2022-23 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) kicks off on October 7, 2022 when last season’s runners-up Kerala Blasters host East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
Featuring 117 matches of high-octane football action, the Hero ISL returns to entertain its fans across ten venues around the country. For the first time ever, the ISL league stage will run for close to five months apart from the playoffs, semifinals and final. Each club will play 20 league matches – 10 each at home and away through the autumn till next spring as the league stage draws to a close on February 26th.
All Hero ISL teams are currently participating in Asia’s oldest competition, the Durand Cup, as they gear up for the Hero ISL season. All Indian football stakeholders have been determined to create a longer football calendar that provides players with more competitive matches throughout the year. The Hero ISL will be followed by the Super Cup in April, 2023.
The 2022-23 season will also be special as fans will be welcomed back to the stadiums after a gap of two seasons. To make it convenient for more fans and families to attend and watch their teams in action, the Hero ISL has created a fixture list with matches taking place on weekends. Each Matchweek is scheduled between Thursday and Sunday, bringing the Hero ISL in line with the top global football leagues.
This season onwards, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) has also introduced a new playoff format for the league, adding two exciting matches into the calendar. The top two teams at the end of the league stage will automatically qualify for the semi-finals. Teams finishing between 3rd and 6th will feature in a single-leg playoff to determine the other two semifinalists.
Defending champions, Hyderabad FC start the defense of their title on October 9th in front of their home fans against former champions Mumbai City FC at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium Gachibowli.
2021-22 League Shield Winners Jamshedpur FC are in action two days later, on October 11th at the JRD Tata Sports Complex against Odisha FC.
Fans can watch India’s biggest derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal FC on October 29th and February 25th next year, to be played at the iconic Vivekananda YuvabharatiKrirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata.
New ISL Playoff Format:
Eliminator 1: 3rd placed team vs 6th placed team
Eliminator 2: 4th placed team vs 5th placed team
Semifinal 1 1st Leg: 1st placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 2)
Semifinal 2 1st Leg: 2nd placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 1)
Semifinal 1 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 2) vs 1st placed team
Semifinal 2 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 1) vs 2nd placed team
Final: (Winner Semifinal 1) vs (Winner Semifinal 2)
Key dates for the 2022-23 Hero ISL season at a glance:
Opening Match: October 7th, 2022
Last League Stage Matchweek: February 23rd-26th, 2023
Playoffs, Semifinals and Final: March 2023