The Federation Cup, also known as Hero Federation Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an annual knockout style club football tournament in India. It has started in 1977. From its inception till I-League has been started in 1997 (then called NFL), it was the most prestigious national level club football tournament in India. Presently it is the most important club tournament after the I-League, to which it has become a de facto League Cup. The winning club of the Federation Cup gets a chance to compete in the continental level in AFC Cup.