Which state has the highest representation in ISL, IWL?
The newly unveiled AIFF 'Strategic Roadmap' has revealed numbers regarding state-wise representation of men and women in the national leagues.
AIFF revealed their 'Strategic Roadmap' on 7th January, 2023 in the hopes of revolutionising Indian Football. In it's 94 slide document, which explicitly delineates the observed problems and suggested solutions by the top-most body in the country.
One of the 11 core areas of focus is talent development and identification. "We need a competitive structure from the grassroots level. ISL has increased the professionalism among Indian players but we lack a solid talent system which produces quality players consistently," AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran told The Bridge on the need to produce more talents across India.
In the said document, there lies a state-wise representation of both men and women in the nation's top leagues, namely the Indian Super League, the I-League, and the Indian Women's League.
Manipur tops the list as the highest supplier of talent to both the men's leagues and the women's league. As shown in the screengrab above, 103 players from the state ply their trade in the ISL and the I-League (38+65), whereas 60 players represent Manipur in IWL.
States which come next are Mizoram (69) and West Bengal (50) in the male leagues, and Odisha (59) and Haryana (33) in the female league. One surprising observation is that footballer powerhouses West Bengal and Kerala have zero or negligent representation in the IWL.
One of the objectives under the 'Talent Development and Identification' reads, "Maximise talent pool from existing hotspots and build new talent hubs across the country." With this and a holistic, data-driven approach promised in the pages of the Roadmap, one can hope that more states, conventionally not related to football, will turn up in these numbers as contributors as well.