ISL 2018: Tournament authorities planning to reduce the number of foreign players per squad
The first ISL season saw teams allowed to sign 11 foreigners in their squad.
What's the story?
Despite their star-studded attraction, the Indian Super League could be all set to reduce the number of foreign players next season, when the merger between the cash-rich tournament and I-League is expected.
In case you didn't know...
The ISL has been a breath of fresh air for Indian football in the last few years, bringing in a number of star-studded names to the country, which, in turn, drew a number of fans, who were previously interested only in European football.
The league had started off with a total quota of 11 foreign players per squad in the inaugural season in 2014, when the likes of Luis Garcia, Robert Pires, Marco Materazzi, Simao Sabrosa, Freddy Ljungberg, Alessandro Del Piero, all took to the field in front of the Indian audience.
The heart of the matter
However, the dependence on foreign players has drastically reduced over the course of the seasons, as the Indian players also improved with increased exposure to better training facilities, coaches, and with the ISL clubs taking them to frequent foreign camps.
The recently-concluded season of ISL saw the tournament allow a maximum of eight foreign players in the squad. But according to reports, the tournament authorities are planning to further reduce the number of foreigners to seven per squad.
Each club will also be allowed to name a maximum of 25 and a minimum of 22 players in their squad, with the minimum requirement for the number of Indians being 17.
While the ISL season is already over, the inaugural edition of the Super Cup is set to get underway on March 31. The tournament will already see the ISL teams participating with a reduced number of foreigners in their squad -- six.
This bodes as a welcome change for Indian football, as the less number of foreign players would mean that more Indians are likely to get chances. To add to that, the clubs can reserve more money to sign fewer quality players.