Should the foreigner quota in Indian Super League (ISL) be reduced? Should it not? The debate had been stretched too long until the All India Football Federation (AIFF) technical committee suggested that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) mandated 3+1 policy be implemented across all leagues in India.
As suggested, the I-League will be seeing the change being put into action from this very season onwards. However, the ISL still has one year time the maximum number of foreigners in a squad is reduced to 3+1 (3 from any country, one from an AFC-affiliated country).
Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat, who helped the Blues win the ISL title in 2019, feels that the Indian players will come under a lot of pressure if the rule is implemented. In an Instagram live session hosted by Chennai City FC (CCFC) coach Akbar Nawas on the I-League club’s official page earlier this week, Cuadrat expressed that reducing the foreigner quota should be a project of 15-20 years and has to be done step by step.
He said, “If we reduce the foreigner quota, we will be putting a lot of pressure on the Indian players (to dish out quality football). They might be talented but they aren’t ready yet to handle so much pressure. For example, my 19-year-old midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam will feel a lot more comfortable when he is surrounded by Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado and Juanan.”
“ISL provides a basic standard of football and a lot of credit should go to the foreigners. It should be a project of 15-20 years (after which we can reduce the foreigner +quota),” the Spaniard further added. “The difference between Indians and foreigners is huge. When we play a possession-based game in training, the Indians, particularly the reserves, keep losing the ball. This is because they still need to improve their basics.”
Cuadrat also went on to say that national team head coach Igor Stimac needs to train with 40 skilful players and not 100, out of which he can pick 20 for the squad.
As a club @bengalurufc completely supports the 3 plus 1 foreigner rule that is being introduced in Indian football across both the @ILeagueOfficial and @IndSuperLeague this is what is the @theafcdotcom rule so why should we be any different? More opportunities to develop Indians
— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) May 21, 2020
Later on, on Thursday morning, Parth Jindal, Managing Director of JSW, the group that owns Bengaluru FC, clarified in a tweet that the club supports the 3+1 rule and feels that it will help in the development of Indian football.