With the implementation of the rule, the league will thus comply with the AFC’s guidelines.

The wehemenntly proposed and much talked about 3+1 foreigners rule in the Indian Super League finally got approved by the league on Monday. The ISL teams will have to follow the regulation from the 2021-22 season, which will bring the foreigners’ quota down to four, providing more chances to the local players to grow.

The status of the regulation was up in the air for some time and finally the governing body, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) held a meeting to discuss the matter. The meeting was attended by chairperson Nita Ambani and the conclusion was reached only after informing the stakeholders including clubs and the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The new regulation will allow the clubs to sign a maximum of six foreigners, including a mandatory player from Asia, while they will only be allowed to field four foreigners at a time.

The 3+1 rule is approved by the Asian Football Confederation and was therefore implemented by the ISL. The reduction in the number of foreigners will provide more chances for the Indian players to showcase their talent at the elite level. Currently, the ISL sides have no compulsion to sign an Asian player, while they can acquire a maximum of seven foreigners and field five at a time.

“ISL has always exhibited progressive and adaptive nature to their operations. Since 2014, ISL has improved on many fronts with each year and today is yet another such example of ISL’s forward-looking statement on Indian football,” a football administrator told PTI.

“The four foreigners regulation will go a long way in redefining Indian football in the years to come. It’s a positive and welcome step which will benefit our Indian players immensely. The change will certainly open up key positions for Indian players in the lineup,” he went on to add.

In 2019, the ISL was conferred the top league status in India by the AFC. Therefore, this change in the foreigners rule was necessary. It will align the league with the confederation’s regulations.

“The decision is an outcome of ISL and it’s clubs’ inclined vision with the national federation (AIFF) and a result of joint consultation,” the league said.

In May, the AIFF Executive Committee implemented the 3+1 foreigners rule including a mandatory player from an AFC nation in the I-League with immediate effect from the 2020-21 season. AIFF confirmed that the ISL organizers FSDL, will work together in presenting a plan forward for foreign players in the coming months.

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