ISL: Defending champions ATK take on Chennaiyin FC in opener
New Delhi: Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will take on hosts Chennaiyin FC in the opening match of the second edition of Hero Indian Super League football tournament, which is scheduled to start on October 3.
There will be 61 matches in all on a home-and-away basis with double-legged semi-finals starting December 11 and the final on December 20. All the matches will be played at 7 pm (IST).
Chennai will also host the opening ceremony of the cash-rich league. The action will then move to Goa on the very next day with FC Goa pitted against Delhi Dynamos FC, while the following day will feature 'Maharashtra Derby' on October 5 when Mumbai City FC locks horns with FC Pune City at DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.
Last year's runners-up Kerala Blasters FC will play their first home fixture against John Abraham-owned NorthEast United FC on October 6.
Delhi Dynamos FC, FC Pune City and NorthEast United FC will host their first home matches on October 8, 9 and 16, respectively.
The promoters of Indian Super League, Football Sports Development Ltd¿ a joint venture between IMG, Reliance Industries and Star India; today announced the fixtures for its second season, featuring 61 games spread across 79 days.
The inaugural year of Hero Indian Super League witnessed an unprecedented response in the history of Indian football, achieving a rare feat of being the fourth most watched football League in the world.
Globally renowned players like, Alessandro Del Piero, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires, Fredrik Ljungberg, David James, Luis Garcia, David Trezeguet, Elano Blumer and Joan Capdevila played alongside the best Indian football talents.
ISL's first edition saw participation of footballers from 36 varied nationalities, including India; changing the way football was perceived in the country so far. The globally viewed tournament had a whopping 129 goals scored at an average of 2.11 goals per game.
The Indian Super League brought Indian football to the world stage with its high quality football. Over 1.5 million fans made their way to eight city based club's home stadiums to witness this unrivalled footballing event unfold.
The inaugural season of Hero ISL was watched by 429 million viewers on TV in India, more than 2.5 times of the viewership of 2014 FIFA World Cup!
The social media presence of Hero ISL has grown exponentially since the inaugural season with over 1.7 million 'Likes' on the League¿s official Facebook page in addition to another 120 thousands that follow @IndSuperLeague on Twitter.
The ISL website www.indiansuperleague.com received 3.4 million unique visitors and over 28 million page views over the duration of the League with a record of 32 million online views on ww.starsports.com, making it the largest football event ever on digital in India.