ISL 2020-21: Transfer & Registration window – When can teams sign players beyond registration window?

An ISL team can register a maximum of 35 players in their squad…

The Indian transfer window came to an end on October 20. What this meant was that the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs cannot anymore sign players who are not free agents.

However, the ISL registration window ended on October 23. So if a club had to sign a free agent then they should have done so and get him registered by October 23. 



An ISL side can register a maximum of 35 players in their squad. 

The clubs must bear in mind that they must have at least six and not more than seven foreign players in their squad. Out of which one of them must belong to an AFC (Asian Football Confederation) member association nation. 

Additionally, there must be at least three developmental players (born after 1st January 2000) included in the squad. 

Previously, it was also mandatory for the clubs to get the approval of the league for three of their foreign signings. Players who have played a minimum of 1000 minutes last season were automatically approved. But this rule has now been scrapped and the clubs no longer need to approach the ISL for approval. 


Can clubs register players after the registration period? 


As earlier mentioned, the ISL registration window closes on October 23. So under normal circumstances, no player can be registered after that stipulated date. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  

If a player is injured and ruled out for at least two months, the club can permanently replace him only after the league’s approval.

Also if the club terminates the contract of a registered player, then a replacement can be signed. 

But if a club registers less than seven foreigners (and the squad length is still less than the maximum size of 35) by October 23 they can still fill the quota post the stipulated date provided the player is a free agent. 

For example, if a club has signed only six overseas players and their maximum squad strength is 33, they can sign a free agent at any point during the season. 

Moreover, if the ISL club sells or loans a player to another club of a different country, then it can register a replacement. 


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