Tiers – The National Football League Premier Division.
Cup competitions – The Durand Cup and the Indian Federation Cup.
Other competitions – The Indian Super Cup.
To say that your managerial experience in India will be one of financial hardship would be something of an understatement; part-time players and club finances that are eclipsed by the average British teenagers bank balance mean that your managerial skills will be tested to the limit, especially if you’re brave enough to choose one of the weaker sides. The season itself is one of the shortest in the FM world and both cup competitions are strangely held before the league campaign begins.
The Premier Division.
As mentioned earlier the football season in India is one of the shortest you’re likely to come across at just 18 games each season (that’s just ten teams playing each other twice). The teams finishing in ninth and tenth each season are relegated. As is common place throughout the world, wins are rewarded with three points and draws with one point. Teams tied on points are separated by goal difference.
Match-day squads allow for the naming of seven substitutes of which three may take to the field. Squads must contain no more than three foreign players. There are two transfer windows (from which transfers involving foreign clubs are exempt), the first of which opens for the first fortnight of October while the second opens for the first three weeks of June.
Player discipline is straight forward with a standard one-match ban being issued for every two yellow cards and a standard two-match ban for every red card.
The Durand Cup.
The First Round of the Durand Cup is played in groups with each of the four groups containing three teams (ten Premier Division teams plus two lower league clubs). Each team plays the other sides in its group once and the team finishing top of the group qualifies for the Semi-Finals. Should teams be level on points they will be separated by goal difference, goals scored and finally head to head results.
Both the Semi-Finals and the Final of the Durand Cup are one-off matches that must produce a winner and with this in mind extra-time and penalties will be used to settle and matches that are level after 90 minutes.
Match-day squad and disciplinary rules are the same as those for the Premier Division.
The Indian Federation Cup.
The Indian Federation Cup is a traditional knock-out cup competition in the mould of the FA Cup. The competition rules do not allow for replays and any drawn matches are settled by extra-time and penalties.
Match-day squads and disciplinary rules follow the Premier Division rules.
The Indian Super Cup.
The Super Cup is an end of season play-off between the winners of the Premier Division and the Federation Cup (basically the equivalent of the English Community Shield match). In the event of these competitions being won by the same team the beaten Federation Cup finalist will qualify for the match. The result of the match must be decided without a replay and should the scores be level after 90 minutes a penalty shoot-out will be used to decide the winner.
Match-day squads must be selected in accordance with Premier Division rules.