Every team will be able to register only six overseas players from next season onwards.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is expected to put more emphasis on promoting Indian players from the next season, after deciding to limit the number of foreigner players in each squad. following the rise of multiple domestic talents in the recently concluded edition, the league’s governing body has decided to further decrease the number of foreigners that can be registered by each team.
From next season, only six international players will be eligible for registration from each ISL club. This is down from 11 who could be registered in the very first edition back in 2014. After reducing the number of international players to seven last season, the league is taking another step towards ensuring the growth of domestic players.
Now, in a squad of 25 players, each team will be able to register six internationals and be able to play five in their starting XI, like before. However, they’ll only be allowed to keep one foreign substitute in that case, whereupon the emphasis on Indian players will come through. More domestic players will find themselves in matchday squads, with those ISL teams with a strong youth structure having the opportunity to give their youngsters more chances.
A source close to the development spoke to Times of India, saying, “The ISL will allow a maximum of five international players on the field at any given time, but more Indians will get a chance to play since there won’t be too many options left on the bench.”
Moreover, there’s also been a change in the selection procedure for the foreign players by each team. From the next season, from the six internationals available for selection by the clubs, only three have to be pre-approved by the ISL organizers. This means that the other three can be any international players which the clubs themselves must take a decision on bringing in before the new campaign.
The ISL has taken a tip out of the I-League’s book, as the latter started allowing the registration of six international players, with five being able to take the field at any time. This obviously resulted in a spike in the rise of the domestic talent in the league, something which definitely impressed the ISL. With many I-League stars being snapped by the ISL clubs, the governing body is trying to ensure that the clubs can promote from within more often.
Thanks to breakthrough seasons for Michael Soosairaj, Nishu Kumar and the consistently brilliant performances of Rahul Bheke, Lenny Rodrigues, Subhashish Bose and Jackichand Singh, the ISL has seen the benefits of promoting Indian talent. Now, the domestic talents will get a bigger stage to prove themselves next season.