What is the new format?


The Indian Super League 2022-23 season is set to commence from 7th October and the fans are waiting with bated breath for its start. But before it does, there has been a slight tweak in the league’s format.

This change was announced by the organisers when the fixtures were released. In earlier seasons, the top four teams at the end of the league-stage would go on to play the knockouts. In this new format, those teams who finish 5th and 6th will get a shot at making the final four as well. How? Read on.

From this season, the top two teams will get direct qualification for the knockouts. For the remaining two positions, 3rd to 6th placed teams will fight it out in a one-off match to decide who will join the first and second teams. Here’s how it looks like:

New ISL Playoff Format (March 2023)

Eliminator 1: 3rd placed team vs 6th placed team

Eliminator 2: 4th placed team vs 5th placed team

Semi-Final 1 1st Leg: 1st placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 2)

Semi-Final 2 1st Leg: 2nd placed team vs (Winner – Eliminator 1)

Semi-Final 1 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 2) vs 1st placed team

Semi-Final 2 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 1) vs 2nd placed team

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

What if last season had the new format?

One can only wonder what may have happened if this very format was applicable to last year’s league table. However, there is no harm is filling the blanks and take a look, is there?

The top six in the 2021-22 season were Jamshedpur FC, Hyderabad FC, ATK Mohun Bagan, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC respectively. If these teams were put in their respective brackets according to the new format, it would look something like this:

Eliminator 1: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC

Eliminator 2: Mumbai City FC vs Kerala Blasters

Semi-Final 1 1st Leg: Jamshedpur FC vs (Winner – Eliminator 2)

Semi-Final 2 1st Leg: Hyderabad FC vs (Winner – Eliminator 1)

Semi-Final 1 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 2) vs Jamshedpur FC

Semi-Final 2 2nd Leg: (Winner – Eliminator 1) vs Hyderabad FC

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

There is a high probability that Kerala Blasters and ATKMB would have never reached the semi-final stages and there might have been a totally new ISL cup winner, but we will have to wait for the new season to watch the new format unfurl.






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