Guwahati, September 22: The Hero Indian Super League, the globally-recognized Indian football league, is all set to kick off with a mouth- watering clash between arch rivals and Season 3 champions ATK and runners-up Kerala Blasters FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata on November 17, 2017.
The clash between two-time champions ATK and Kerala Blasters FC in the opener will also bring the seasoned rivalry between Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov from Europe to Indian soil. This edition of Hero ISL will see 10 teams in action, with the addition of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, which will result in a prolonged season lasting four months for the first time.
Football Sports Development Ltd., a joint venture between IMG, Reliance Industries and Star India, announced the match schedule of the power-packed ISL season 4 today featuring 95 matches.
All tem teams shall play each other in a home-and-away format in 90 games before the two-legged semi finals, which are scheduled to take place in the second week of March. Date and venue for the Finals will be announced later. All league matches will kick off at 8 PM (IST) with Sunday featuring double headers at 5:30 PM and 8 PM (IST).
The season’s first double-header will see a repeat of the 2016 Final between Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa in Chennai followed by AFC Cup 2016 finalist, Bengaluru FC, getting their first taste of Hero ISL when they take on last season’s semi-finalists Mumbai City FC in a home match at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on November 19. The highlight of the day will undoubtedly be India captain, Sunil Chhetri, taking on his previous club for the first time.
All the clubs have collectively spent Rs 132.75 crore in signing 77 international and 166 domestic players. Unlike previous seasons, the maximum number of foreign players in the playing XI has been reduced from six to five. This has prompted clubs to invest heavily on home-grown talents with long-term goals in mind resulting in over 32 Indian players getting multi-year contracts starting this year.
View the full schedule here.