The 2021–22 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament will see an increase in on-field representation of local players and the new rules require clubs to field a minimum of seven Indian players, one more than last season’s six. The increase in space for Indian players means that there will now be one less place in the team for foreign players and only a maximum of four foreign players can take the field at a time.
“The number of Indian players in the playing XI in the Indian Super League 2021-22 season will increase as the new coach and player selection guidelines of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) are followed by clubs,” the ISL said in a release on Tuesday. For this, it will be mandatory to field at least seven Indian players on the field at all times.
In the first tournament played in the year 2014, maximum six foreign players were allowed to field. The places of Indian players in the league have increased continuously. It was mandatory to have a minimum of six Indian football players on the field from ISL 2017-18, which has been increased to seven from the next season.
Limiting the maximum limit of foreign players to four is in accordance with the rules of club competitions of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). After this change, clubs can sign up to six foreign players, of which one must be from an AFC member country.
Clubs will also have the option of contracting foreign marquee players among league-approved players. From this season, instead of two, the club will have to sign a minimum of four development players, and at least two of them will take the field.
In addition, the club can seek substitutes in the event of injury to an Indian player, which would be beyond the maximum registered 35 players. The salary limit of the team for the upcoming season has been retained at Rs 16 crore 50 lakh. The transfer window of Indian football will start from Wednesday, giving clubs a chance to sign contracts with players of their choice.
Recently Indian football team defeated Bangladesh 2-0 after Indian captain Sunil Chhetri hit the net twice in 13 minutes. With this football match, Chettri surpassed Argentina legend, Lionel Messi in international football. A lot of people including Indian coach Igor Stimac are full of praises for the 36-year-old goal machine.