Bhaichung Bhutia bats for unified league in heart-to-heart with fans on Khel Now
Written by: Aniket Surve
The legendary striker and former India captain expressed his views in a frank conversation with Khel Now on Twitter.
Legendary striker and former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia again made his views clear on the stirring debate between the I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) in a series of replies to the tweets of fans asking him about the topic in a conversation on Khel Now's Twitter handle. It all started with a fan who protested against the kickoff timings of I-league games this season. The league recently announced its fixtures and timings and it came as a shock for Indian football fans to see the kickoff timing of 2 pm.
2 pm kickoffs a complete joke.aiff so incompetent. So sad. They want to kill d league & get the fans,teams & owners disillusioned. @ILeagueOfficial @fni @TFGfootball @ChiranjitOjha @THE_RanjitBajaj @bhaichung15 @KhelNow @SuperpowerFb— Srinath acharya (@dreamjogobonito) November 14, 2017
The former India international heavily criticized officials in a reply to the fan’s tweet. The reply triggered many fans who started shooting questions about the future of both leagues. Bhutia sportingly replied to many tweets and explained his views on both the leagues.
What a shame. I league deserves much better. Both league should survive and do well but not by killing each other.— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) November 14, 2017
Bhutia tweeted that he fully supports the concept of merging the two leagues and having a unified league with 18-20 teams and spanning over the course of a full season like in Europe.
Can't have two leagues. Does not make sense. Need to think inclusive rather than exclusive. The betterment of Indian Football must be the ultimate aim and objective and this is not the way to go— Jaideep Bhandarkar (@jbhandarkar75) November 14, 2017
I completely agree. In long term we need one league with 15 to 18 teams.— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) November 14, 2017
The debate soon started to get a little spicy as fans questioned him about his earlier statement in which he voted against the proposed merger.
BB u were the advocate of these 2 league system. U are trying to win brownie points now with supporters. Both u and Renedy have become chamcha of Aiff— Arpan Das (@arpan1985) November 15, 2017
The former Indian striker dusted off the criticism as he explained that he supports a two-league system only till a final decision on the merger is made so that a lot of players get a chance to showcase their talents, but he still backs the idea of a unified league in the long term.
Pls send me that article and check with the journalist where I said it. And that time I was technical Committe chairman. Even bigger role in AIFF. I still feel in long run one league. Till then two leagues should happen in same time. So more players get opportunity to play.— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) November 15, 2017
The debate focused on the I-league’s increment in foreign players quota as a fan showed concerned over reduced chances for local players in the starting XIs of teams. The league increased its foreign players quota from four to six with a maximum of five in the starting XI.
India needs only 1 league by allowing 6 foriegn players for I league the Federation has ensured no local young talents wl make to the 1st eleven. Marketing for I League is non existent ..— Suman Chatterjee (@SumanSumanc10) November 14, 2017
Bhutia replied that the rule changed because some teams demanded it. Wealthy teams like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were the ones who forced the change in the rule. The former talisman from Sikkim believes that it is unfair to the local players.
Some of the ileague clubs demanded that. So unfair for Indian players and smaller ileague clubs with low budget.— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) November 14, 2017
It was nice to see a former international getting engaged in a healthy debate with fans and clearifying his views on important issues.
Published: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:45 PM IST