No Diego Forlan, Florent Malouda in ISL next season?
The Indian football calendar is all set to undergo a major revamp where the glamorous Indian Super League (ISL) will be crowned the country's primary league from the 2017-18 season onwards
Mumbai City FC marquee player Diego Forlan
The Indian football calendar is all set to undergo a major revamp where the glamorous Indian Super League (ISL) will be crowned the country's primary league from the 2017-18 season onwards. The league will kick start in November next year after the FIFA Under-17 World Cup (October 6-28), All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary Kushal Das said yesterday.
This means the 2016-17's I-League that gets underway next month will be the last edition where it enjoys primary status, after which it relegates to a second-tier league. Das also revealed that the new league will be "longer and there will be League 1 and League 2, if everything works according to plan." However, questions arise whether marquee players such as Diego Forlan, Florent Malouda, John Arne Riise, among others, who have been vital crowd-pullers, will be sweating it out on the football turf in the sub-continent next season, given the extension of the league.
Das is optimistic that the ISL has created enough hype to get in younger marquee players. "A longer format will be followed. Some marquee players were telling me that they travel more than they train, so it doesn't make sense. They should be training and then play matches on the weekend. We will have to get those younger marquee players who are willing to play in India.
"The ISL has created that hype, so there will be more players who would be willing to come to India and play for a longer time," Das told reporters on the sidelines of an event where FIFA announced its association with Bank of Baroda as the national supporter for the U-17 World Cup.
The AIFF has set a deadline of February-March to finalise the proposed restructuring.
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