Indian Women's League

The Indian Women's League is the top division women's professional football league in India with the first season kicking off in Cuttack in October 2016.[1] The league is ran by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Indian Women's League
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Number of teams24
Level on pyramid1
Current championsSethu FC
Most championshipsEastern Sporting Union
Rising Student's Club
Sethu FC
(1 time each)
2019–20 IWL season


Since 1991, the top women's football tournament in India has been the Indian Women's Football Championship. The tournament served as a female equivalent of the Santosh Trophy, with states competing against each other.[2] There had never been an organized national football league for women; however, leagues were started by state associations for women. The first women's state football league was set up in 1976 in Manipur. The Indian Football Association of West Bengal founded the Calcutta Women's League in 1993. Leagues were also started in Mumbai and Goa in 1998 and 1999 respectively.[2]

In 2014, after the success of the India women's team, mainly in the SAFF Women's Championship, a push to start a women's football league, mainly along the lines of the recently started and successful Indian Super League, started.[3] Clubs such as Pune and Bengaluru FC had expressed interest in the joining a women's league.[3] It was around this time that the All India Football Federation started plans to create the ISL-style league for women.[4]

On 21 April 2016, over a year after the AIFF started plans for a women's football league, the AIFF President, Praful Patel, said that a women's football league would kick off in October 2016 with six teams to be decided, with the goal to expand to eight teams by 2017.[1] Just over two months later, on 5 July 2016, the AIFF organized a workshop to discuss the India women's national team and discuss the proposed women's football league. Five Indian Super League sides (Delhi Dynamos, Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters, FC Pune City, Atletico de Kolkata) and three I-League teams (Bengaluru FC, Aizawl FC, Mumbai FC) attended the workshop. It was announced that the league would feature the eight teams in the league and two other spots would be determined through a pre-qualification round.[5]

On 14 October, the AIFF announced that the preliminary rounds for the Women's League would begin on 17 October 2016 in which ten teams are split into two groups of five teams each, with the winner from each group qualifying for the national finals.[6]


Season 1 (2016–17)

On 24 January 2017, AIFF launched the first ever women's professional league with six teams. The participating teams – FC Alakhpura (Haryana), Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC (Puducherry), Aizawl FC (Women) (Mizoram), FC Pune City (women) (Maharashtra), Rising Student's Club (Odisha) and Eastern Sporting Union (Manipur) play each other in a round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. All matches of the two-week Indian Women's League (IWL) were played at Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium with the first match scheduled for Saturday, January 28.

Season 2 (2017–18)

The final round of the season was played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong. Rising Student's Club from Odisha were crowned champions after beating Eastern Sporting Union.

Season 3 (2018–19)

Indian Women's League season 3 main round started on 5 May 2019. All matches to be played in Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, Punjab.[7] The 2018–19 IWL will have 12 teams, divided into two groups. The teams will play each other once and the top two teams will compete in the semi-final.

All 12 Teams are as follows :
Group A Group B
Rising Student's Club Manipur Police Sports Club
Gokulam Kerala FC Sethu FC
FC Alakhpura Bangalore United FC
Hans Women's FC Baroda Football Academy
Central SSB

Women's Football Team

SAI-STC Cuttack
Panjim Footballers FC Kolhapur City


Season Winner Result Runner Up
2016–17[8][9] Eastern Sporting Union 3–0 Rising Student's Club
2017–18 Rising Student's Club 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 p)
Eastern Sporting Union
2018–19 Sethu FC 3–1 Manipur Police SC

Winning head coaches

As of 22 May 2019
Head Coach Club Wins Winning season
Eastern Sporting Union 1 2016−17
Sukla Dutta Rising Student's Club 1 2017−18
Amrutha Aravind Sethu FC 1 2018−19

Stats and Players

Top goalscorers

As of 22 May 2019
Rank Player Seasons Goals
1 Ngangom Bala Devi 2 38
2 Yumnam Kamala Devi 3 17
3 Sabitra Bhandari 1 15
Ratanbala Devi 2
5 Dangmei Grace 2 12
Anju Tamang 3
Sandhiya Ranganathan 3
8 Sanju Yadav 3 8
Irom Prameshwori Devi 3
10 Kashmina M. S. 3 9
11 Sasmita Malik 1 7
Karishma Shirvoikar 1
Pyari Xaxa 3
14 Sabina Khatun 1 6
Jabamani Tudu 3
16 Fazila Ikwaput 1 5
Heigrujam Daya Devi 1
Indumathi Kathiresan 3
Pradeepa Sekar 3

Top scorer by season

Season Player Club Goals
2016−17 Yumnam Kamala Devi Eastern Sporting Union 12
2017−18 Ngangom Bala Devi Kryphsa F.C. 12
2018−19 Ngangom Bala Devi Manipur Police SC 26

See also


  1. Puri, Rohan (21 April 2016). "Women's football league from October". Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  2. "India – List of Women's Champions". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  3. Das, Suprita (26 January 2015). "Now A Women's Football League?". NDTV Sports. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  4. "AIFF Plans to Start Indian Super League-Style Women's Football". NDTV Sports. 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  5. "AIFF conducts workshop for National Women's League". Times of India. 5 July 2016. Archived from the original on 9 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  6. "INDIAN WOMEN'S LEAGUE PRELIMS TO KICK-OFF ON OCT 17". The All India Football Federation. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  7. "Indian Women's League 2018–19 to kick off on May 5 in Ludhiana |". Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  8. "Eastern Sporting Union crowned inaugural Indian Women's League champions". 14 February 2017. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  9. "Eastern Sporting Union win inaugural Indian Women's League". 14 February 2017. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
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