I-League 2nd Division
The I-League 2nd Division is the 2nd highest division overall in the Indian football league system I-League. It is also known as Hero 2nd Division League for sponsorship reasons.
1997-2007 (as Second Division)
|Number of teams||20|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Domestic cup(s)||Durand Cup|
|Current champions||TRAU |
|Website||I-League 2nd Division|
The I-League 2nd Division was introduced for the 2008 season, having been previously known as the National Football League 2nd Division. The State FA's nominates the teams who have finished in the top 5 of their respective state leagues, which are later approved by the AIFF to participate in the consequent 2nd division league.
Since 2010, only 2 teams were promoted to I-League. ONGC and HAL promoted in 2010. In 2011 Shillong Lajong and Sporting Clube de Goa were promoted with Lajong being promoted for the 2nd time. In 2012, ONGC and United Sikkim were promoted for 2012–13 season. The 2013 season saw Rangdajied United F.C and Mohammedan qualifying for I-League 2013–14.
In 2014, only one team got promoted from the 2nd division and similarly only one team got relegated from 2013–14 season.
The official logo for the second tier football club competition of India – the 2nd Division League – has been officially introduced by the All India Football Federation on 17 March 2015. That year only one team got promoted from the 2nd division (Aizawl F.C.) and similarly only one team got relegated from I-League(Dempo).
From 2008 to 2011 the league was sponsored by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and was named the ONGC I-League 2nd Division. ONGC was also the title sponsor of the I-League. In October 2011 ONGC was dropped as a sponsor.
|2008—11||ONGC I-League 2nd Division|
|2011—17||No Sponsor||I-League 2nd Division|
|2017—Present||Hero I-League 2nd Division|
|Period||TV Telecast||Online Streaming|
Structure of the league
Previously, the league was formatted as a neutral venue competition with teams split into groups in which all the groups play in one stadium each. The final round is contested in a double round-robin format, after which the top two teams get promoted to the I-League. But from 2015 there was a change in format. There was no preliminary round and no division of team based on team. The 8 eight teams played against each other twice at neutral venues.
The I-League core committee approved the plans for the 2015–16 I-League 2nd division matches to be played on a home and away basis. The preliminary rounds will be played in the ‘conference’ system with the teams being divided into Eastern and Western conferences. Top 3 teams from each conference will qualify for the final round of the 2015–2016 season of 2nd division I-League.
To widen the football map of the country and to bolster the football structure, l-League Core Committee decide to launch the 2nd division qualifier for 2016–17 season. Participants from all the state associations would be invited to take part in 2nd division league 2016–17 qualifiers. The state associations need to nominate 2 (two) teams with best results, apart from the teams who would compete in Hero I-League and 2nd division league in 2015–16 season, from the state league 2015–16, to compete in the 2nd division qualifiers. The teams will fight it out amongst themselves in the zonal round followed by the final round. Eventually top two teams from the final round will get a nod to the 2nd division league 2016–17, provided that they fulfill the club licensing requirements in the due time.
The format was further altered from 2017–18 season, the league was divided in two stages: the Preliminary and the Final. The tournament will also feature reserve teams of Indian Super League clubs. In the preliminary stage, 18 teams were divided into three groups where all matches would be played on a home and away basis. The winners of each group plus the best second-placed team would qualify for the final round. However, if reserve teams of ISL clubs finish as winners or runners-up in any group, the position was passed on onto the next non-ISL team. The final round will be played at a central venue, the winners of which would be promoted to the next tier of Indian Football.
The following clubs are participating in the 2019–20 I-League 2nd Division
- Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
|Gujarat FC||Ahmedabad, Gujarat||TransStadia||20,000|
|ATK (R)||Kolkata, West Bengal||Sailen Manna Stadium||15,000|
|Bengaluru (R)||Bengaluru, Karnataka||Bangalore Football Stadium||8,400|
|Chennaiyin (R)||Chennai, Tamil Nadu||SSN College Ground||TBA|
|Chhinga Veng||Aizawl, Mizoram||Rajiv Gandhi Stadium||20,000|
|Fateh Hyderabad||Hyderabad, Telangana||Gachibowli Stadium||30,000|
|Goa (R)||Margao, Goa||GMC Stadium||3,200|
|Jamshedpur (R)||Jamshedpur, Jharkhand||JRD Tata Sports Complex||24,500|
|Kerala Blasters (R)||Kochi, Kerala||Maharaja's College Stadium||15,000|
|Lonestar Kashmir||Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir||TRC Turf Ground||15,000|
|Mohammedan||Kolkata, West Bengal||Mohammedan Ground||15,000|
|Ozone||Bengaluru, Karnataka||Bangalore Football Stadium||8,400|
|Rainbow||Barrackpore, West Bengal||Vidyasagar Krirangan||22,000|
|South United||Bengaluru, Karnataka||Bangalore Football Stadium||8,400|
Relegated teams (from I-League to I-League 2nd Division)
As updated on 28 February 2018.
|Champions||₹ 50 Lakhs|
|Runners-up||₹ 25 Lakhs|
|Matchday Subsidy||₹ 50 Thousand|
|Match winner||₹ 25 Thousand|
|Hero of the Match||₹ 12.5 Thousand|
|Head coach||Club||Wins||Winning years|
|Royal Wahingdoh,TRAU||2||2014, 2018–19|
- Arunava Chaudhuri (17 March 2015). "2nd division I-League logo launched by AIFF today".
- Abhishek Jain (26 August 2015). "Change in format for I-League 2nd division".
- "AIFF LEAGUE COMMITTEE MEETS AT FOOTBALL HOUSE". 19 February 2018.
- "LEAGUE COMMITTEE MEETS AT AIFF HQ IN NEW DELHI". AIFF. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- "I-League 2016/17: Aizawl FC reinstated after getting relegated last season, Salgaocar FC opt out". sportskeeda.com. 26 September 2016.
- "AIFF reinstates Churchill Brothers in I-League". 20 September 2018.