Indian Women's League

Indian Women's League Logo

The Indian Women's League is the top professional division in women's football in India. Run by the All India Football Federation, this League only started very recently. The first match took place in Cuttack, Odisha in October 2016. The League winner participates in the AFC Women's Club Championship, which is the top tier championship for club football in Asia.

So far, there have been four seasons of the Indian Women's League. Season 1 took place in 2016-17, Season 2 ran from 2017-18, Season 3 occurred in 2018-19, and Season 4 operated in 2019-2020.

Indians womens league is the most popular womens league in India for betting on football. 

How the Indian Women's League started

There has been an Indian Women's Football championship since 1991. This was the top women's football event in the country and was the equivalent of the men's Santosh trophy, where state teams competed against each other. However, there was no club-based and organized women's football league. There was a state football league in Manipur, though, which was founded in 1976.

Things changed for the better when the Indian Football Association of Bengal launched the Calcutta Women's League in 1993. The years 1998 and 1999 saw the launch of women's leagues in Mumbai and Goa, respectively.

There was a renewed effort to create an Indian Super League (ISL)-style women's league in 2014, after the success of the Indian women's team in the SAAF championship. Pune and Bangalore FC came forward to join a women's league as and when it was created.

In April 2016, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced its plans to create the Indian Women's League. The goal was to start with six teams, and later expand the League to eight teams. The football body organized a workshop on this subject. Five teams from the ISL and three from the I-League attended this workshop. These were:

  • Delhi Dynamos
  • Chennaiyan FC
  • Kerala Blasters
  • FC Pune City
  • Athletico de Kolkata
  • Bangalore FC
  • Mumbai FC
  • Aizawl FC

After the workshop, the AIFF announced there would be ten teams competing initially. There would be two groups, each comprising five teams, and the top two winners would qualify for the finals of the Indian Women's League.

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Current clubs and their states

The Indian Women's League comprised the following clubs at the time of writing this article.

  • Gokulam Kerala from Kozhikode, Kerala
  • Sethu FC from Imphal, Manipur
  • Sreebhumi FC from Kolkata, West Bengal
  • Kryphsa FC from Chennai in Tamil Nadu
  • Kenkre FC from Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Kickstart FC from Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Odisha Police from Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
  • Kolhapur City from Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Bidesh XI FC
  • BBK Dav FC
  • FC Bangalore United from Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Baroda Football Academy from Vadodara, Gujarat

Indian Women's League winners

There have been four winners so far in this championship. They were:

  • Eastern Sporting Union beat Rising Student's Club 3-0 in Season 1.
  • In the next season, the Rising Student's Union turned the tables and beat Eastern Sporting Union 5-4 in extra time.
  • Sethu was the winner of Season 3 after it defeated Manipur Police 3-1.
  • In Season 4, Gokulam Kerala beat Kryphsa 3-2 and became the League champions.

Sukla Dutta of Rising Student's Club, Amrutha Aravind of Sethu FC, and Priya PV of Gokulam Kerala were the winning coaches in all these seasons.

Indian Women's League stats

Bala Devi and Sabitra Bhandari have scored the most goals in the Indian Women's League. Bala Devi netted 38 goals in two seasons, while Sabitra Bhandari scored 31 goals also over two seasons.

Ratanbala Devi and Sandhya Ranganathan have netted 25 goals each in three and four seasons, respectively. The other top scorers are Danmei Grace and Anju Tamang (15 goals apiece), Karishma Shivolkar (11), Manisha Kalyan, Parmeshwari Devi and Kashmina M.S each with 9 goals scored.

There are three players who have 7 goals each to their credit. They are Sasmita Malik, Pyari Xaxa, and Soumya Guguloth. Sasmita and Soumya scored all their goals in just one season.

Hat-trick scorers

So far, five players have scored multiple hat-tricks. Yumnam Kamala Devi and Nongmaithem Ratanbala have each scored 3 hat-tricks, while Sandhiya Ranganathan and Sabitra Bhandari have 4 and 4 to their names, respectively. However, the top spot goes to Ngangom Bala Devi who has netted 7 hat-tricks in the course of her IWL career.


The Indian Women's League has a long way to go to achieve parity with the ISL. Football administrators will have to rope in sponsors and advertisers to make this championship a success. At present, the top prize of INR 10 lakhs isn't attractive enough for many potential woman footballers. Football has to be broad-based at the village and town level, to make the Indian Women's League a huge success.

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Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.