The 35 year-old opined on the roadmap of Indian club football and how it is vital for the development of the sport in the country.
The picture of Indian football became much comprehensive after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), on October 14, suggested a roadmap to the All India Football Federation (AIFF). In light of the event, Sunil Chhetri, the captain of Indian football team and Bengaluru FC, expressed his views regarding the practicality of the roadmap and other issues.
“Whatever roadmap is decided and is still under construction right now, I hope all the stakeholders come together and ensure the best outcome for Indian football,” he said.
A major point presented in the roadmap is that post the 2024-25 season, the Indian Super League (ISL) – officially the national league of India, will have the system of promotion and relegation. As per the roadmap, another interesting point that has been discussed is that the promotion of teams from the I-League will begin right from the 2020-21 season. Naturally, that means there will be an increase in the number of teams in the top tier further making it an exciting scenario.
Speaking on the same, Sunil Chhetri said, “The bigger the league, the better it is. The more the number of teams in the league, the better it is for the country because we will get that many more competitive matches. The number of good players will also increase.”
Furthermore, the 35 year-old also spoke up on a recent issue involving the national team head coach Igor Stimac and the Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL). During a press conference, Stimac had expressed his worries regarding lack of time with national team players before the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, leaving the FSDL fuming.
“I’m sure Stimac would have wanted more days. If we had got 6-7 days, it would have been better because we were playing away from home,” said Chhetri as per a report from the TOI.
“It would have definitely been easy but then the calendar has been decided before hand and so I have nothing to say about that.”
Moreover, he also explained how a shorter national camp might affect the chemistry between the players if not for their fitness.
“Fitness won’t be a problem but the camaraderie between the players will be. It’s good for our fitness if we are playing a lot of matches,” he added at the end.