The League Committee of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) met on Tuesday to decide on the number of foreigners that will feature in the lineups during the news season of domestic competition, I-League.
The committee decided that it will stick to the 3+1 rule in regards to the number of foreigners that will feature on the field for a team. However, teams can register up to six foreigners including one Asian for the new season that gets underway on 29 October.
The teams followed the same rule last season as well. It’s worth mentioning that the current Indian head coach Igor Stimac is not a big fan of having too many foreigners in domestic competitions. Stimac believes that this will block the chances for younger domestic players. Now, as the committee has also decided to stick to the old rule, Stimac would be happy.
The committee also made it clear that while a foreigner on the pitch can be substituted by another foreign player at the bench or by an Indian player, a foreigner of an Asian quota can be replaced by another foreigner of an Asian quota or by an Indian.
“The League Committee, after long deliberations, recommended to increase the number of foreigners to 5+1 (5 foreigners from anywhere in the world, and one from Asia) in the squad on the match day. However, out of these, a total of four foreigners should be allowed in the playing eleven at any given point of time on a 3+1 basis,” AIFF said in a release on Tuesday.
“There is a saying that a country’s football is as good as its domestic football. So, here, our job is not conducting the leagues in the routine process. Our aim is to take these meets to a level from where Indian football is taken forward. In near future, we hope to take giant steps in improving all the leagues, from senior to junior level, under the AIFF banner,” said the chairman of the committee, Mr Lalnghinglova Hmar.