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New Rules for the eighth season (2021-22) of the Indian Super League (ISL)

New Rules for the eighth season (2021-22) of the Indian Super League (ISL)
Source: ISL Media

Here are the new rules for the 2021-22 season of the Indian Super League (ISL). The eighth season of the Indian Super League will kick off on November 19th and the final will be played on March 20, 2022 (Source: Marcus).


There can be a maximum of four foreign players in the Playing XI and six in the squad. This essentially translates to a minimum of seven Indian players on the pitch. So, clubs have sign a minimum of four and a maximum of six international players.

Out of these 4/5/6 International Players, one player has to be from a member nation of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

In the ISL, although Asian player is mandatory to register in the six foreigners among the squad, he doesn’t have to be part of the playing XI. They can field four foreigners without an Asian.

However, in Asian competitions, if the Asian player is not signed, the club can field three foreigners. If they want to accommodate a fourth foreign player on the pitch, he has to be Asian (3+1 rule).


ISL sides need to have two developmental players in the match day team and a minimum of four players in the squad.


A maximum of 35 players can be registered into the squad which should contain a minimum of three goalkeepers.

The salary cap for each team is fixed at 16.5 crore rupees – however, player loans, transfer fees and marquee signings will not be part of the salary cap allotment.

A club can also have an injury replacement for an Indian player (outside of the 35 registered players).

Free players can be signed beyond the transfer deadline (August 31). Most of the players coming to India tend to be out of contract.



(i) U-23 Player who has made at least two (2) appearances for the senior team of a major club in the top five (5) leagues of world football (English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1); and/or

(ii) U-23 Player who has made at least three appearances for a national team within top 25 of FIFA World Rankings in international tournaments (FIFA World Cup final tournament for all age groups, FIFA Confederations Cup final tournament, Olympic Games final tournament).

Source: Marcus


Marquee means a player who has a marketable presence in India (assessed at the discretion of the League).

(i) Player who has made a minimum of 75 appearances for major club(s) in the top 5 leagues of world football (English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1);

(ii) Has represented a club in major tournaments (UEFA Champion’s League, Europa League);and

(iii) Has represented his senior national team in major international tournaments (World Cup final tournament, UEFA European Championship, FIFA Confederations Cup final tournament).

Source: Marcus

This post will be updated as and when more details are available.

For rules from the previous season of the ISL – most of which should apply for the upcoming season as well, please click here.


Fatorda: Mumbai City FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and NorthEast United FC.

Bambolim: FC Goa, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC.

Vasco: Chennaiyin FC, SC East Bengal, Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC.

Source: Marcus


Sept 2: Deadline to submit executed player contracts signed during transfer window.

Sept 7: Contract of head coach

Oct 29: Squad registration

Oct 30: Submission of form 2– salary cap evaluation

Oct 31: Final deadline for all contracts.

Source: Marcus

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