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Listening Report: The Indian Super League in Numbers

Indian Super LeagueThe Indian Super League kicked off last week with much fanfare. Like the Indian Premier League cricket, the IPL, the new football league hopes to attract big crowds to fill stadia. Famous ex-players, like Zico and Peter Reid have joined the league as team managers to raise its profile, but players like Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pirès, Sweden’s Freddie Ljungberg and Luis García may be bigger draws. This week, we take a look at this league in numbers. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and can read the transcript of the report (below) where you will also find explanations of key vocabulary (in bold).


This is the number of teams, or franchises, there are in the league. Three, Mumbai City, Pune City and Goa, are based on the west coast, two, Kerela Blasters and Chennaitin, in the south, two in the north east, Atlético de Kolkata and North East United, and finally one, Delhi Dynamos, in the capital. The names are a curious hybrid of traditional English team monikers like City and United, a latin influence with Atlético, and American hype, such as Dynamos and Blasters.


The number of months the season runs, from October to December.


After four games, the average attendance has been around 32,000. This is quite healthy, but when you compare the 65.000 who saw Atlético de Kolkata to the 16,500 spectators at the Delhi Dynamos game, there is clearly going to a big variation.


This is the number of teams that will be relegated and promoted. As the teams are franchised, there will be no relegation dogfights in this league. It’s also the number of Indian managers and also the number of Indian captains.


To try to and reach out to the regular Indian fans, each team must have 14 Indian players in its squad, along with 4 local boys. The rest of the team must contain 7 overseas players, including 1 ‘star’.


The ISL has a draft system based on American sports. This means that each team takes turns picking players. There are 49 foreign players this season.


The total number of games. There will be a finals tournament in November and December, consisting of the top four teams, with the semi finals being over two legs.


fanfare: publicity, advertising

(a) draw: (in this context) a selling point, an attraction

moniker: nickname, alternative name

spectator: fan, member of the audience, supporter

relegation dogfight: the struggle to avoid being relegated to a lower league. Often at the end of the season, two or three teams struggle to stay in the top league

local boy: someone born and brought up in the area

over two legs: two matches, home and away


Links of interest

2014 Indian Super League Season – Wikipedia

The official site of the ISL

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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