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Chennaiyin FC is a professional football club based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. They compete in the Indian Super League under licence from the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The club was founded in August 2014 during the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. Chennaiyin are the reigning champions, winning the 2017-18 Indian Super League season, also having won it previously in 2015 season, making them the joint highest winners (2) of the league along with ATK.

Official Chennaiyin FC Logo.png
Full nameChennaiyin Football Club
Nickname(s)Marina Machanz
Short nameCFC, CNY
Founded24 August 2014; 4 years ago (2014-08-24)
GroundMarina Arena, Chennai
Capacity19,484 (ISL)[1]
OwnerAbhishek Bachchan
MS Dhoni
Vita Dani
ManagerJohn Gregory
LeagueIndian Super League
2018–19Regular season: 10th of 10
Finals: Did not qualify
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The franchise is owned by Vita Dani, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni.[2] Its manager is former English midfielder John Gregory. The team's name Chennaiyin FC means Chennai's football club in Tamil where the 'yin' suffix is similar to a possessive 's' in English.[3] The team's logo is the Dhrishti Bommai, a representation of chasing away negativity and preserving positivity in the Tamil culture.[4]




When the Indian Super League was founded in 2014, the city of Chennai was one of the nine proposed cities up for franchise bidding.[5] However, on 11 April 2014 it was reported that Chennai's main bidder, a consortium led by Sunil Gavaskar would drop out due to commitments with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.[6] Then, in August 2014, with two months before the 2014 ISL season, the Bangalore owners Sun Group dropped out due to disputes with the organizers.[7] Initially reports came out that the ISL organizers were looking for bidders for new owners for the Bangalore franchise before it was revealed that Ronnie Screwvala and actor Abhishek Bachchan would together bid for a Chennai team instead of a Bangalore franchise.[8]


On 14 August 2014, it was reported that ISL officials were inspecting the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai for the proposed team.[9] Finally, the team was bid for by actor Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani. On 12 September 2014, Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi was hired as player-manager.[10] Then, on 6 October 2014, the Indian cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the joint co-owner of the club. The club officially launched their jersey on 9 October 2014. They also announced that real estate developer Ozone Group would be their principal shirt sponsor for the season.[11]

Marco Materazzi era (2014–2016)Edit

Marco Materazzi was the head coach of Chennaiyin FC from 2014 to 2016

On 15 October 2014, Chennaiyin won their first Indian Super League fixture with a 2–1 victory at FC Goa. The goals were scored by Balwant Singh, who became the first Indian player to score in the competition, and the former Brazil international Elano.[12] On 28 November 2014, the club brought Alessandro Nesta, who won the World Cup for Italy out of retirement.[13] The team finished its 14-game regular season in first place in the league. In the semi finals, the team lost the first leg 3-0 to Kerala Blasters. In the second leg, they managed to overturn the deficit by leading 3-0 in regular time. However, a 117th-minute goal by Stephen Pearson sent Kerala through to the finals.

For the Second Season of Indian Super League, they managed to retain six players namely, Balwant Singh, Jayesh Rane, Dhanachandra Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Harmanjot Khabra and Abhishek Das.[14] They also signed Godwin Franco and Mehrajuddin Wadoo. On the last day of the transfer window, Chennaiyin FC announced that they had managed to sign back Stiven Mendoza. The season started with the team losing the first two games. Though the team managed to score points by winning at Goa and Mumbai, they lost another three games on the trot. By the third week of November, Chennaiyin were placed last in the league table. But, the team won four consecutive games to qualify for the playoffs, finishing at 3rd place in the regular season. They won the second season of the ISL by beating FC Goa 3-2 in the finals.

For the Third Season, of Indian Super League, they managed to retain six players namely, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Jayesh Rane, Dhanachandra Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Harmanjot Khabra, Thoi Singh and Abhishek Das.[15] Chennai signed John Arne Riise as the marquee player for the season. The season kicked off with a draw against Kolkata. Winning just three games through the season, the team finished in seventh place, just one point more than the last placed FC Goa. After a dismal season, it was announced on 6 March that Marco Materazzi and Chennaiyin parted ways on mutual consent.[16][17]

John Gregory era (2017–present)Edit

John Gregory led the team to ISL title in his first season

On 3 July 2017, the club announced the appointment of former Aston Villa Manager John Gregory as the head coach for the 2017-18 season.[18] He took charge in September and the club traveled to Thailand for pre-season. Chennaiyin lost Gregory's first league game as head coach on 19 November against FC Goa. The team won its next three matches against Northeast United FC, FC Pune City and ATK. Mumbai City FC brought Chennaiyin FC's winning run to an end with a battling 1-0 win at home inside the Mumbai Football Arena.[19] The blues then travelled to Sree Kanteerava Stadium where they beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 in a tightly contested match.[20] Chennaiyin FC were held to a 1-1 draw when they faced Kerala Blasters at home in their next game. In spite of the draw, The Blues went top of the table with 13 points after seven games.[21] The team went on to win the finals against Bangalore on their home ground and became the champions for the second time.[22] Chennaiyin FC finished as runner-ups in AIFF Super Cup 2019 where they losed to FC Goa 2-1. Following Indian Super League glory in 2017-18, Chennaiyin became the first Indian club, representing the ISL, to play in the AFC Cup, as they drew 0-0 with Colombo FC in Sri Lanka on 6 March 2019. A week later, they won the second leg 1-0 in Chennai to progress to the 2019 AFC Cup group stage. Chennayin FC is the first ISL club to reach in Group stage of AFC Cup 2019 i.e. in Group E. They played a tie of 0-0 to Minerva Punjab FC on 3 April 2019 and won 2-0 to Nepalese club Manang Marshyangdi Club on 17 April 2019 whereby Maílson Alves and Chris Herd also accompanied by win against Abahani Limited Dhaka by 1-0 and goal scorer was Anirudh Thapa 30 April 2019. On 19 June 2019 Chennaiyin FC faced a draw of 1-1 against Minerva Punjab F.C. where Mohammed Rafi secured a goal in the last minute of game.

Stadium and attendanceEdit

Nehru Stadium, the home of Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC play their home matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai nicknamed the Marina Arena. The stadium is located at Sydenhams Road, Park Town behind the Chennai Central suburban Railway station and Ripon Building. The stadium is named after Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister and earlier hosted cricket Test Matches between 1956 and 1965.[23]

Chennaiyin FC has considerable support base with average attendance of over 10,000 over the first three seasons.[24][25] Most recently, the team declared the stadium’s L1 stand of block H as an away stand.

Season Attendance
2014 22,095
2015 22,767
2016 22,139
2017–18 2,538
2018–19 1,136


Current squadEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Karanjit Singh
33   GK Sanjiban Ghosh
6   DF Lucian Goian
11   MF Thoi Singh
8   MF Edwin Sydney Vanspaul
13   DF Eli Sabia
12   FW Jeje Lalpekhlua
15   MF Anirudh Thapa
7   FW Leroy George
17   MF Dhanpal Ganesh
18   DF Jerry Lalrinzuala
No. Position Player
21   FW Nerijus Valskis
26   DF Laldinliana Renthlei
28   MF Germanpreet Singh
19   MF Raphael Augusto
30   MF Francis Fernandes
16   MF Sinivasan Pandiyan
35   DF Hendry Antony
37   DF Reamsochung Aimol
45   FW Bawlte Rohminthanga

Technical staffEdit

As of 3 August 2019
Position Name
Head Coach   John Gregory
Assistant Coach and Youth Development Coach
Assistant Coach   Syed Sabir Pasha
Goalkeeping Coach   Kevin Hitchcock
Sports Scientist   Naill Clark
Chief Technical Officer   Amoy Ghoshal

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2014—2016 TYKA Ozone Group
2016—2017 Puma TVS Tyres
2017—present Performax Apollo Tyres

Notable former foreign playersEdit

National rankingEdit

As of 6 June 2019.[26]
Current Rank Country Team
16   Royal Wahingdoh F.C.
17   Kerala Blasters FC
18   Chennaiyin FC
19   FC Goa
20   Mumbai F.C.

Asian clubs rankingEdit

As of 6 April 2019.[27]
Current Rank Country Team
209   Harbin Yiteng
210   Najran SC
211   Chennaiyin FC
212   PSIS Semarang
213   JEF United

World clubs rankingEdit

As of 6 June 2019.[28]
Current Rank Country Team
1817   FC Unirea Alba Iulia
1818   Al-Ahli Khartoum
1819   Chennaiyin FC
1820   chennai city FC
1821   FC Petržalka




  1. ^ "Stadiums in India". World Stadiums.
  2. ^ "Dhoni becomes ISL team Chennaiyin FC co-owner". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Chennaiyin logo revealed". Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. ^ Sudarshan, N. (5 October 2014). "Chennaiyin Football gets Italian seasoning". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Business giants join forces to launch Indian Super League". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Chennai unlikely to have an ISL team". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  7. ^ Mergulhao, Marcus. "Now, Sun Group opts out of Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  8. ^ Suchindran, Aravind. "Screwvala, Abhishek may bid for Chennai franchise". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  9. ^ Mergulhao, Marcus. "ISL: Draft for overseas players on August 21". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  10. ^ Suchindran, Aravind (12 September 2014). "Marco Materazzi to manage Chennai Titans". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Official Jersey released". Times Of India. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  12. ^ Raj, Rohan (15 October 2014). "ISL: Record-breaking Chennaiyin FC romp to 2-1 win over FC Goa". India Today. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  13. ^ Davies, Jack (28 November 2014). "Alessandro Nesta comes out of retirement to join Indian Super League side Chennaiyin". Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Retain Players of Chennaiyin FC in ISL 2". Footballlens. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Quartet return from loan for ISL 2016". Chennaiyin Football Club. 1 June 2016. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  16. ^ Sports, Reporter (6 March 2017). "Materazzi leaves Chennaiyin". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  17. ^ Sports, Reporter (6 March 2017). "Materazzi and Chennaiyin part ways". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Chennaiyin FC appoint Englishman John Gregory as Head Coach". Chennaiyin FC. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  19. ^ "ISL 2017, Match 22: Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC, 5 Talking Points". 10 December 2017.
  20. ^ "ISL, Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC, full score: BEN 1-2 CHE". 17 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters draw 1-1 after thriller in Chennai: As it happened". The Indian Express. 22 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Chennaiyin FC conquer fortress Bengaluru to lift ISL 4 title". The Indian Express. 18 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Nehru Stadium: Test Matches". ESPN Cricinfo. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  24. ^ "Chennai to bleed blue again, this football season - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  25. ^ "Supermachans show their loyalty through a flashmob". 2 October 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  26. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking".
  27. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking".
  28. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking".