The Indian Super League (ISL) has been hailed by many as the league to revolutionize Indian Football. After all, the men's national team rankings skyrocketed once the ISL began.
However, India still has a long way to go before qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. Moreover, there is not a single Indian player plying their trade in Europe which makes it all the more difficult.
Speaking to Indranil Basu at SKLive, former Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj said:
"India will reach the World Cup when we have 10 Indians playing for the Premier Leagues across the world. Egypt has a great league but only two national team players play in Egypt. The rest play in Europe. So, when they get together, it is a world-class team."
The ISL clubs spend heavily on their foreign signings and transfer fees. Ranjit Bajaj believes this need to change for the development of Indian Football.
"But, we are spending money on transfer fees, marquee players, etc. Whereas look at my budget. I am trying to shout to the world, I get fifty per cent of the budget from the sale of my junior players. You can't have a league, which is now ISL, full of buying clubs," Ranjit Bajaj said.
With East Bengal and Mohun Bagan jumping the ship from I-League to ISL, the former is set to be jeopardized further.
"The clubs who sell their players at ten times which they bought them is a selling club. In ISL, there are only buying clubs. So, who is going to produce the players? They are going to buy from the I-League clubs. But, the I-League is ruined. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are gone. The sponsorship and broadcast will drop down too," Bajaj further added.Published 11 Oct 2020, 20:59 IST