New Delhi: Only four foreigners would be eligible to play for any club in the I-League from the 2020-21 season.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) executive committee on Wednesday decided to implement the (3 overseas +1 Asian) foreigners’ rule in the starting XI from the 2020-21 season.
As far as the Indian Super League (ISL) is concerned, a statement from AIFF said “FSDL will work with the AIFF and will present a plan to the Executive Committee on the way forward for foreign players in the next couple of months. This plan would come into effect after the 2020-21 season.”
The AIFF also said that as per requests from various I-League clubs, the committee decided to implement the foreigners rule like it is in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) guidelines which are followed in their club competitions.
The AIFF’s technical committee had recommended the reduction of foreigners from both the leagues last week.
“Adhering to requests from the various I-League clubs, the committee unanimously decided to implement the 3 (foreigners) + 1 (Asian) recruit rule for Hero I-League matches from 2020-21 season itself.,” the statement read.
The executive committee also felt that as per the AFC regulation of clubs needing to play minimum 27 matches for them to gain eligibility to play in the AFC Champions League, clubs playing in the ISL need to play more matches not just to adhere to the guidelines, but also for the holistic development of players, and Indian football.
AIFF President Praful Patel, who chaired the meeting held via video conference, also urged the ISL and I-League clubs to put up a women’s team for the Indian Women’s League. “Women’s football in India cannot be sustainable without participation from clubs,” he said.
“Furthermore, keeping in sync with FIFA relaxations on status of transfer of players, the committee felt that the set-up of the transfer window can be zeroed down when the schedules of respective Leagues are finalised,” the statement further read.
The executive committee condoled the demises of Indian football legends P.K. Banerjee and Chuni Goswami and also Abdul Latif, Ashok Chatterjee, Rajendra Mohan and observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup also got new dates earlier this week with the tournament now being scheduled from February 17 to March 7 next year.
“I feel the postponement won’t affect the preparation of our team. We were getting ready keeping November (the earlier window) in mind. But we are on track for the event, both from the organisation side, and also the team’s perspective,” Patel said.
“I am in constant touch with FIFA and AFC and everyone is waiting for footballing activities to resume soon.”