Football is nothing without fans, and Indian fans have come close to a league that promises a higher standard of play and an overall fun show both in the stadium and at home. India’s booming football culture, coupled with incredible passion, has caused many foreign leagues to turn east. One area where ISL has excelled is getting support from the big corporations that have previously retired from the football scene in India.
It was said that the purpose of this agreement was to help develop ISL. Whatever happens, remains to be seen, but I see the two leagues merging and thus creating a football league structure similar to what exists in many European countries. ISL can undoubtedly make some changes for the development of Indian football with a more extensive range of ISL’s core cash pool for all clubs, improved cash prizes, higher advertising spending and better I-League broadcast quality. It has been said that the merger of the ISL and the I-league will benefit the sport and be the most appropriate way to help the Indian national team achieve potential success in the coming years.
Bringing Indian footballers into important positions as central defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, or centre-forward will help the Indian national team in the future. Secondly, AIFF is encouraged to build Indian football schools and staff them with experienced professional coaches with the knowledge and know-how to prepare future football stars for India. Relying on foreigners to change the game, achieve results and help Indian footballers thrive may be the top three responsibilities of foreign players. A process like this can help a team grow, help Indian players take charge and adapt, and help foreign players influence the Indian player with their experiences and learning curves.
There will be one less foreign player this season, five to four, which will make the team more reliant on Indian players, who will now have more minutes. Reducing the number of foreign players on the field from the previous five to four will allow 11 new Indian players to play 90 minutes for the current 11 ISL clubs, significantly increasing the overall number of Indian players and playing time—order aid from the Indian football team. There has also been a change in Indian player development, with clubs now allowed to sign 17 Indian players (up from 14 last season) and must have at least 6 Indian players (up from 5 last season) at any point in the game. The club will now be forced to put the Indian striker in a secondary role and look for strikers from the lower leagues to help find Chhetri’s successor.
Through the alliance, ISL will assist the Premier League and its clubs with matchmaking and other business development initiatives in India, such as exchange programs and partnerships between clubs in the two countries. ISL and the Premier League will also be promoting football streaming on the Star Indias platform for the growing Indian fan base. As these models have inspired hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, I am confident that the ISL trophy will also become a symbol of aspiration for many young people in emerging India.