National Football League (India)

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National Football League
National Football League (India).png
Country  India
Confederation AFC
Founded 1996
Folded 2007
Divisions 1 (1996)
2 (1997–2005)
3 (2006-2007)
Number of teams 10
Level on pyramid 1 (1996-2006)
Domestic cup(s) Federation Cup
International cup(s) Asian Club Championship
Last champions Dempo S.C.
Most championships Mohun Bagan A.C.
East Bengal Club
(3 titles each)

The National Football League (commonly known as the NFL) was an association football league competition in India between 1996 and 2007 which was organised into three divisions. The league is now transformed into the I-League and continues with that name. The Premier Division of the league was first introduced in 1996, though the country already had a long history in the sport thanks to the likes of the IFA Shield and the Federation Cup. In fact, the Santosh Trophy (started in 1941) was the top football competition in the country before the then National Football League started.[1][2]

A Second Division was added to the league in 1997, as Football in India grew to challenge cricket for the title of India's most popular sport. Between the divisions each year two teams were relegated and two teams were promoted. By 2006 a Third Division was added but that did not matter as by this time this would be the last year for the NFL; it was replaced in 2007 by the I-League which focuses on completely turning Indian football into a professional sport.

List of League Sponsors[edit]

1996-97 Philips 1997-98 Philips 1898-99 Coca Cola 1999-00 Coca Cola 2000-01 Coca Cola 2001-02 Tata 2002-03 Oil PSU

List of Champions[edit]

Year Champions
(number of titles)
Runners-up Third place Top goalscorer Goals
1996–97 JCT FC (1) Churchill Brothers S.C. Kingfisher East Bengal FC India Baichung Bhutia 14
1997–98 Mohun Bagan AC (1) Kingfisher East Bengal FC Salgaocar SC India Raman Vijayan 10
1998–99 Salgaocar SC (1) Kingfisher East Bengal FC Churchill Brothers S.C. Ghana Philip Mensa 11
1999–2000 Mohun Bagan AC (2) Churchill Brothers S.C. Salgaocar SC Uzbekistan Igor Shkvyrin 11
2000–01 Kingfisher East Bengal FC (1) Mohun Bagan AC Churchill Brothers SC Brazil Jose Barreto 14
2001–02 Mohun Bagan AC (3) Churchill Brothers S.C. Vasco SC Ghana Yusif Yakubu 18
2002–03 Kingfisher East Bengal FC (2) Salgaocar SC Vasco SC Ghana Yusif Yakubu 21
2003–04 Kingfisher East Bengal FC (3) Dempo SC Mahindra United Brazil Cristiano Junior 15
2004–05 Dempo SC (1) Sporting Clube de Goa Kingfisher East Bengal FC Nigeria Dudu Omagbemi 21
2005–06 Mahindra United (1) Kingfisher East Bengal FC Mohun Bagan AC Nigeria Ranty Martins 13
2006–07 Dempo SC (2) JCT FC Mahindra United Nigeria Ranty Martins
Nigeria Odafe Okolie

All-time NFL member clubs[edit]

Original 12 Clubs[edit]

Other First Division Clubs[edit]

In order of their promotion to the First Division.