Indian Women's League

women's professional football league in India

The Indian Women's League is the top level in the women's professional football league system in India. The first season started in Cuttack in October 2016.[1] The league is run by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Indian Women's League
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Number of teams24
Level on pyramid1
International cup(s)AFC Women's Club Championship
Current champions[[Gokulam Kerala FC (women) |Gokulam Kerala]] (1st title)
Most championshipsEastern Sporting Union
Rising Student's Club
Sethu FC
Gokulam Kerala
(1 time each)



Since 1991, the top women's football tournament in India has been the Indian Women's Football Championship. The tournament served as a female version of the Santosh Trophy, with states competing against each other.[2] There had never been a 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.[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 successful Indian Super League, started.[3] Clubs such as Pune and Bengaluru FC had interest in 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 made plans for a women's football league, the AIFF President, Praful Patel, said that a women's football league would start in October 2016[needs update] 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 meeting 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 meeting. It was declared that the league would feature the eight teams in the league and two other spots would be decided through a pre-qualification round.[5]

On 14 October, the AIFF declared that the preliminary rounds for the Women's League would begin on 17 October 2016 in which ten teams would 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 began 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) played each other in a round-robin format with the top four teams going 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 played on 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)


The 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.Sethu FC crowned unbeaten champions

Season 4 (2019–20)


Indian Women's League season 4 main round started on 24 January 2020. All matches were played in Bangalore Football Stadium, Bengaluru, Karnataka.[8] The 2019–20 IWL had 12 teams, divided into two groups. The teams played each other once and the top two teams competed in the semi-final. Gokulam Kerala were crowned champions after beating KRYPHSA F.C. 3–2 in the final.[9]

All 12 Teams are as follows :
Group A Group B
Baroda Football Academy Bangalore United FC
BBK Dav FC Bidesh XI FC
FC Kolhapur City Odisha Police FC
Kickstart FC Kenkre FC
KRYPHSA Sreebhumi FC
Sethu Gokulam Kerala


Season Winner Result Runner Up Ref.
2016–17 Eastern Sporting Union 3–0 Rising Student's Club [10][11]
2017–18 Rising Student's Club 1–1
(5–4 p)
Eastern Sporting Union
2018–19 Sethu 3–1 Manipur Police SC
2019–20 Gokulam Kerala 3–2 KRYPHSA [9]

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
  Priya P.V Gokulam Kerala 1 2019–20



Prize money


As updated on 14 February 2020.[9]

Position Purse
Champions 10 Lakhs
1st Runners-up 5 Lakhs
Most Valuable Player 1.25 Lakhs
Top Goalscorer 1 Lakh
Best Goalkeeper 1 Lakh
Emerging Player 75 Thousand

Stats and players


Top goal scorers

As of 14 February 2020
Rank Player Seasons Goals
1   Ngangom Bala Devi 2 38
2   Sabitra Bhandari 2 31
3   Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi 3 25
  Sandhiya Ranganathan 4
5   Yumnam Kamala Devi 3 22
6   Dangmei Grace 4 15
  Anju Tamang 4
8   Karishma Shirvoikar 2 11
9   Manisha Kalyan 3 9
  Irom Prameshwori Devi 4
  Kashmina M. S. 3
12   Sanju Yadav 3 8
13   Sasmita Malik 1 7
  Pyari Xaxa 3
  Soumya Guguloth 1
16   Sabina Khatun 1 6
  Jabamani Tudu 3
18   Fazila Ikwaput 1 5
  Heigrujam Daya Devi 1
  Indumathi Kathiresan 3
  Pradeepa Sekar 3
  Sumithra Kamaraj 2

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
2019–20   Sabitra Bhandari Gokulam Kerala 16

Hat-trick scorer

As of 14 February 2020
Multiple hat-tricks scorer
Rank Player Hat-tricks Last hat-trick
1   Ngangom Bala Devi 7 20 May 2019
2   Sabitra Bhandari 5 1 February 2020
3   Sandhiya Ranganathan 4 6 February 2020
4   Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi 3 12 May 2019
  Yumnam Kamala Devi 4 February 2020


  1. 1.0 1.1 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. 2.0 2.1 "India – List of Women's Champions". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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 2019-04-13.
  8. "Hero Indian Women's League returns, scheduled to kick-off from January 24". AIFF. 9 January 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Gokulam Kerala crowned new Hero IWL champions after thrilling finale". AIFF. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  10. "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.
  11. "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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