The 2022-23 ISL season begins on October 7 in Kochi with a new playoff format; Fans are ready to return

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The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 will kick off on October 7, 2022 when last season’s runners-up Kerala Blasters host East Bengal FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

All Hero ISL teams are currently competing in Asia’s oldest competition, the Durand Cup, as they prepare for the Hero ISL season. All Indian football stakeholders have been determined to create a longer football schedule 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 supporters will be welcomed back into stadiums after a two-season hiatus. To allow more fans and families to attend and watch their teams in action, the ISL has created a fixture list with matches taking place over the weekend. Each match week is scheduled between Thursday and Sunday, aligning the ISL with the world’s top football leagues.

Starting this season, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) has also introduced a new playoff format for the league, adding two exciting matches to the schedule. The top two teams at the end of the league stage will automatically qualify for the semi-finals. Teams finishing between 3rd and 6th place will compete in a one-legged playoff to determine the other two semi-finalists.

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Reigning champions Hyderabad FC begin their title defense on 9 October in front of home fans against former champions Mumbai City FC at GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium Gachibowli.

2021-22 League Shield winners Jamshedpur FC are in action two days later on October 11 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 29 and February 25 next year, which will be played at the iconic Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata .

With 117 high-octane football matches, the ISL returns to entertain its fans at ten venues across the country. For the first time ever, the ISL league stage will take place over almost five months apart from the playoffs, semi-finals and final. Each club will play 20 league matches – 10 each home and away from autumn until next spring, when the league phase ends on February 26.

New ISL Playoff format:

Eliminator 1: 3rd ranked team against 6th ranked team

Eliminator 2: 4th-ranked team vs. 5th-ranked team

Semi-final 1 1st round: 1st team against (Winner – Eliminator 2)

Semi-final 2 1st round: team ranked 2nd against (winner – eliminator 1)

Semi-final 1 2nd leg: (Winner – Eliminator 2) against the team classified 1st

Semi-final 2 2nd leg: (Winner – Eliminator 1) against the 2nd ranked team

Final: (Winner Semi-Final 1) vs (Winner Semi-Final 2)

Key dates for the 2022-23 Hero ISL season at a glance:

Opening game: October 7, 2022

Last League Stage Match Week: February 23-26, 2023

Playoffs, semi-finals and final: March 2023

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