The Indian Super League (ISL), which started with just eight teams and now has 11, will restructure the playoffs from next season with six teams instead of four.
The teams ranked 1st to 4th after qualifying for the playoffs after the league stage until the ISL 2021-22 season faced the top 4th team in the two-legged semi-final format and the third team for second place. The final
According to the Times of India, the ISL technical committee has approved the six-team playoff format. The top two teams qualify directly for the semifinals, with teams from 3G facing 6th and 4th teams facing 5th in a one-legged qualifier to be played at the home side of the top ranked team in the points table to decide the final four. The collision is determined by the two-legged home and away tie, with the semi-finals remaining the same.
“When the ISL started, there were eight teams, half of which qualified for the playoffs. Three new teams have been added since then, while the playoff format has remained the same. With the expectation of expansion of ISL in the future, this new format will provide more opportunities for participating clubs, “a source close to the development told TOI.
According to TOI, neither team objected to the change in format.
“It simply came to our notice then. With each passing season it is becoming harder to qualify for the playoffs and no one is guaranteed a place in the top four. It’s competitive, so if there are more places to fight, I don’t think clubs will mind, “TOI quoted a club member who attended the meeting.
“It’s a win-win situation. There is now an incentive for clubs to finish one and two. The top team gets a place in the AFC Champions League in addition to the prize money of Rs 3.5 crore, while the second place team gets a place in the playoffs without having to go through a difficult qualifier. Five and six are also in controversy for the ISL trophy, “another club official told TOI.