ISL 2017: ISL teams’ reserve squads to play in I-League second division?
What’s the story?
According to a report in Goal.com, there could be provisions for the Indian Super League (ISL) teams to field their reserve teams in the second division of the I-League in the 2017-18 season.
The report further added it is expected that the League Committee comprising of Subrata Dutta, B K Roka, Lalnghinglova Hmar, Anil Kumar, Chirag Tanna, Souter Vaz and Rochak Langer will announce their decision on the matter soon.
In case you didn’t know…
As per the ISL regulations, each of the ten teams has the option to have a reserve team, provided that it is only comprised of domestic players. Now, this team is in addition to the first team and the youth team. However, the wages paid to the players of this reserve team is not counted when the salary cap is taken into account.
As of now, four ISL teams viz., Bengaluru FC, Delhi Dynamos, FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC, have a reserve squad at their disposal.
The heart of the matter
Back in June, there was a proposal of having the reserve teams of the ISL clubs in the I-League second division. Later on, it was alternatively suggested that a league comprising of the ISL reserve and the Public Sector Units (PSU) teams would be formed and the expenses would be borne by the participants themselves.
However, there wasn’t any progress on that front after the suggestion. As a consequence, the ISL clubs will now have the opportunity to field their reserve teams in the second division of the country’s premier football league from the upcoming season. However, the reserve teams will not get promoted to the first division regardless of their position.
The ISL kicks off after the U-17 World Cup, this time with two new teams. And it now seems like their reserve teams will soon be a part of the I-League second division.
With FIFA and AFC constantly moving towards the merger of the ISL and the I-League, this definitely seems like another step in that direction.
As for the development of football in the country, if the reserve teams, which will be - bear in mind - formed of domestic players only, indeed play in the second division it can only help widen the pool of talent.