Doutie bats for longer version of ISL to attract more international players…

Atletico De Kolkata’s protean winger Sameehg Doutie wants the Indian Super League to run parallel to the FIFA calendar and he has also insisted that the ISL must be for a longer period of time. Although the All India football Federation and its commercial and marketing partners Football Sports Development Limited are planning to organize the league in a more professional manner from next year, but it is still to be implemented officially.

“It is best if the league is run with the FIFA calendar and professionally, so that clubs can compete at the Asian level,” Doutie told reporters here on Wednesday. “Indian players can challenge in the (AFC) Champions League. A longer league will also help in more international players coming to India”, he added.

Doutie later cited the example of Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who is plying his trade in Norway and recently represented his club Stabaek FC in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers. “It is better for players as they can feed their families. Indian players can go abroad like the goalkeeper (Gurpreet) who is doing so well and playing in the national team,” Doutie said.

About ATK’s inconsistent performance and failing to defend after taking the lead the South African winger said, “I don’t think we are inconsistent. We are still unbeaten. This is the just the beginning and we will improve in every match. Our team is doing well and is eager to win every match. We players sometimes get emotional. We fight for every point. We are all very serious about the ISL.”

The “Somersault” man of ATK feels that the maximum number of Indian players playing in the ISL right now has the capability to play in South African clubs and he pointed out Prabir Das who was sitting beside him during the press meet. “Indian players can play in South Africa. He is sitting next to me (Prabir Das) and he can do it. They are talented. I told Prabir if you keep playing like this you will get into the national team. That’s the talk we do”, he signed off.

Talented youngster Prabir Das who accompanied Doutie in the press meet thanked his club coach Sanjoy Sen for his success. He said, “I am grateful to Sanjoy Sen who had given me an opportunity to play for Mohun Bagan. He did not use me from the beginning in any of the matches. He used me for the last 10-15 minutes and injected confidence in me. He is the only coach who has allowed me to play in my correct position which is the left side whether it be left-back or left wing.”

Picture © ISL Media