The Indian fans petitioned for it, and in all likelihood the Indian Super League (ISL) will be added to the ever-growing list of competitive leagues in FIFA 18. According to sources close to Sportskeeda, the Chinese Super League (CSL) has already been selected as a new entrant, with photoshoots of players and roster information being shared with EA Sports.
ISL currently sits second on the FIFA fan voting website with 154,000 votes as compared CSL’s 156,000, with the top three leagues likely to be included in this year’s edition.
Our source said, “CSL is mostly confirmed for FIFA 18, because we have already begun the process and locked all the rosters. Since ISL is seasonal, it’s quite difficullt for us to follow a similar process of execution as compared to a normal let’s say, seven month league. However, we want to put the first three voted leagues.
“Now if you see the list, there is a massive gap between third and fourth. So, if everything goes as planned, and there are no logistical issues – CSL, ISL and the German third division will be included. We will begin working on them in April and confirm it as well.”
This is a massive boost for a league that has captured the imagination of an entire country. Regions such as Chennai have been re-introduced to the sport and are turning up in massive numbers to boost football’s viewership in India. In fact, a petition started by Shuvam Mishra from Bengaluru has reached its desired number of supporters for a potential ISL inclusion.
One supporter said, “I refuse to buy the game if North East United is not included.”
Our source added, “We cannot let fan emotions dictate our decisions, yes they are the most integral part of our success, but then that's why the voting is there. We cannot go outside that and let another league in because a few fans want it. It’s what the majority wants, and we all hope if ISL is included, the popularity of FIFA in India will increase.”
The list also had other leagues such as a separate one for Greece, whose clubs have been playing in the ‘Rest of the World’ category, since the games’ inception. The Malay league is also close by in 4th, followed by Kosovo, one of the world’s latest fully independent countries.Published 20 Mar 2017, 20:52 IST