I-League: 2 Yellow Cards & you are out
One of the things that I have been observing and seeing again and again in the ongoing fourth edition of the I-League are quick yellow card suspensions as players have to sit out a game after receiving only their second yellow card in the league. This is hampering all teams across the country as key players have to sit out matches once in a while.
And I feel it is a rule which the All India Football Federation and the I-League committee needs to look at after the end of the current I-League. I was telling football friends that I know in the German Bundesliga and across Europe’s major leagues players are suspended for a game after picking up their fifth yellow card.
Surely the leagues in Europe are bigger with 18 or 20 teams playing, which mean 34 or 38 league matches a season; but the I-League has grown to 14 teams now which means 26 matches in India’s top tier per season. So accordingly the number of cards for a suspension should rise. It could go up to three now and once 16 teams or more are playing in the league it should be either four or five yellow cards for a suspension.
This surely would help the clubs and their coaches, who now often have to replace players and change formations with the league entering a crucial stage. The suspension rules should also be part of overall development and professionalisation.