ISL- Indian Super League

Ivan Vukomanovic: VAR is necessary for improvement of ISL and referees

November 3 2023
(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Ivan Vukomanovic also pointed out how breaks during the league help a club.

Kerala Blasters are on the road once again in the Indian Super League 2023-24 season. They face East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. The fixture is set to be highly exciting as both clubs have a passionate fanbase and fabulous players on their respective rosters.

Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, took part in the pre-match press conference and was joined by defender Hormipam Ruivah too! He spoke about the introduction of VAR to improve the refereeing standards in the ISL and more in the conversation.

Here are the excerpts:

It won’t be easy

Ivan Vukomanovic clarified that no game in the ISL is easy and despite East Bengal’s form, winning will be a challenge for Kerala Blasters. “For us, every game is hard whether we are playing at home or away. I think East Bengal is a very good team with a good coach. They played well in the Durand Cup. Almost all the clubs are still in the process of finding the best solutions because the competition has just started. I expect all the teams to start playing normally and good football from January.”

On breaks during the league

Speaking on whether breaks in the league cause any issues with rhythm, Vukomanovic said, “When there are breaks, it can help the players and teams develop more. Some players go for the national team because they have the quality; they deserve to be there. For the clubs, it is even better as when you are on a longer term, it gives you more time to improve.”

Starting pre-season late

The KBFC head coach believes that the Durand Cup is a good tournament for developing young players. He also pointed out how every team in the ISL is still trying to find the perfect combination. “Since we started our pre-season in July, we never trained with the full squad. All the clubs received players late in the pre-season and it happened with us as well. The majority of the clubs did not have full squads for the Durand Cup. It was an unnecessary tournament for all ISL clubs. It is a good cup to develop the youth,” he opined.

The requirement of VAR to improve the league

Ivan Vukomanovic advocated the use of VAR in the Indian Super League in line with the rest of the head coaches in the division. He said, “It is needed, it is necessary for the improvement of the league and referees as well. I will never have anything personal against the referees, they are trying to do their jobs. But somehow I feel that they are not supported by the federation, by the referee organisations, providing them with the best technology to make their life easier and the league better. We all want that to happen.”

Hormipam Ruivah on the opponents

Hormipam Ruivah spoke concisely about the need to focus against a strong team like East Bengal which has quality players in their ranks. “East Bengal have good players with quality. For us, we have to be calm and we need to concentrate to stop them from scoring,” he said ahead of the game.

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