India’s national team coach, Igor Stimac has demanded that the number of foreigners plying their trades in the various football leagues in India.
According to the Croatian, this will afford the national team of the opportunity to have a bigger pool of players to select from for the national team.
This has been disclosed as the major reason the Croat has been interested in the Indian Arrows which is the All India Football Federation’s developmental side playing in the I-league.
Stimac has dedicated time to see three different matches played by the team at the Cooperage ground as well as taking the team on training sessions.
According to Stimac the India Super League and the I-league, the latter which allows 5 foreign footballers in a starting eleven per team.
The rule, he says, must be changed as soon as possible as it hinders the development of Indian Players as well as reduces the number or pool of players to select from.
Furthermore, he stated his fears about founding a replacement for some of India’s top stars when they get injured or retired.
“Many times I’m asked the question: where are you going to find a replacement for Sunil Chhetri? We will never find a replacement for Sunil Chhetri while the situation is like this,” Stimac was quoted on Friday.
The manager explained further that the I-league is short in providing players for the national team with the Indian Arrow the only team that provides the national team with options.
He describes the situation as unfortunate as it has not been addressed as it should. Stimac also explained that opportunities for homegrown and Indian talents in Indian Super League and the I-league are limited.
He however advised that the AIFF adopts the Asian Football Confederation’s format of three foreign and a single Asian player in a team for the ISL while the I-league is redesigned into a developmental league where local players are allowed.
Written by Daniel Ademiju Idowu