Indian football has received additional global recognition, with the Indian Super League (ISL) being inducted into the prestigious World Leagues Forum (WLF). It becomes the first league from South Asia and seventh in Asia to join the association of professional football leagues. The ISL joins the likes of the Premier League, LaLiga and Bundesliga in the WLF.
Currently, WLF has members from five continents representing close to 1200 clubs worldwide. It works closely with global body FIFA on the development of professional football, providing support for national football bodies to share best practices and improve standards and structures in professional football.
“It is an honour for ISL to get a seat at the World Leagues Forum table. This recognition from WLF is testimony to Indian football’s rise on the global stage, and the role that ISL is playing in it,” said Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL).
“In 2014, when we launched ISL, we had a dream to revolutionize football in India. Every year since then, we have consistently raised the bar and given a world-class platform to our young footballing talent. We look forward to working with WLF to further accelerate the growth of this beautiful game across geographies.”
According to Jerome Perlemuter, General Secretary of the WLF, the ISL is on the path to become a major league on an international level.
“It is a great pleasure and an honour to welcome the Indian Super League in the professional football family,” Perlemuter said. “The ISL has achieved a lot in the recent years and is now on a path to becoming a major league in its region. The World Leagues Forum and its member leagues look forward to sharing experiences with the ISL and contribute to its future development.”
The WLF aims to foster cooperation between the leagues through knowledge sharing and exchange of proven methodologies with an emphasis on helping the emerging leagues in their development.
Recently, the WLF signed a cooperation agreement with FIFA detailing ‘development programme for professional football’. They joined forces with the world governing body to provide knowledge and expertise to improve professionalisation worldwide.