From the upcoming 2021/22 season, the Indian Super League has introduced the 4 foreign players rule. Better understood as the 3+1 rule, each team will be allowed for feature only a maximum of 4 foreign players. Among the four, one of them has to be a player has to be from an AFC nation.
Back in 2014, the Indian Super League began with the policy of playing only 5 Indian players at a given time. This was a major factor to the success of the League considering the fact that FIFA did not recognise it at that time. The popularity of the League was so massive that it completely erased the existence of the I-League.
In the 2017/18 season, the limit became 7 Indian players. However, this season the cap has been put on the number of Foreign players. The growth of Indian Football and its progress is the board’s priority. The League will suffer its drawbacks through this but will it eventually be able to recover from it.
4 Foreign players rule in the ISL
After the first season, it was obvious that the I-League was the second favourite league in the country. However, it was not until 2019 that the ISL became the top-division League in the country. Keeping restrictions in the top-flight league sounds very deviated from the idea of just enjoying the games.
Players from other leagues should be able to confidently move to this league without worrying over chances of playing fewer games just because they do not belong from here. Managers should not be given a set of rules apart from the rules of the actual game. Imposing this rule in the I-League would improve the chances of Indian players getting more game-time without disrupting the League that people actually watch.
Since the ISL began back in 2014, India’s FIFA ranking has come up from 160+ to around 100 rankings. More players have been given the recognition they deserve and grassroots football has scaled up to heights that were unthinkable 10 years ago. This is mainly due to their interactions and development with players who have come with a different outlook.
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