Sports Football 29 Nov 2016 India need longer le ...

India need longer league to improve: Sunil Chhetri

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SOUMO GHOSH
Published Nov 29, 2016, 3:46 pm IST
Updated Nov 29, 2016, 6:23 pm IST
Sunil Chhetri said that with the stability of one league, Indian football can finally look to increase the number of competing clubs.
Sunil Chhetri cited the example of the European countries, where the apex league spans an entire season. (Photo: ISL Media)
 Sunil Chhetri cited the example of the European countries, where the apex league spans an entire season. (Photo: ISL Media)

Mumbai: India football captain Sunil Chhetri believes that the country needs to have one league at the helm, which will span the length of an entire season, in order for the condition of the sport to improve.

Indian football is in turmoil, after traditional club Sporting Clube de Goa, earlier this month pulled out of the I-League, in protest against the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) decision to make the franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL) the top-tier league in the country.

 

With Salgaocar FC having already pulled out, and rumours of Dempo SC also looking to follow suit, we are faced with a situation, where the I-League may not have a single team from the football hub of Goa.

“One league is going to be good. And this is something that everyone understands. People who are involved, the federation, the media, everyone understands this,” said Chhetri.

“One league, a longer league is going to be beneficial to everyone,” he continued. “To have national league games, to have a longer league, to have a more competitive setup is going to be great. To bring more into the league is going to be lovely.”

 

The India captain even said that with the stability of one league, Indian football can finally look to increase the number of competing clubs.

“How and when they are going to do it, that’s not for me to decide. But one day maybe we will see 14, 16, or 20 teams in the league,” Chhetri said.

The 32-year-old also went on to cite the example of countries where the football infrastructure is better.

“In the bigger countries, where football is more refined, they have more clubs,” he said. “And for sure, the kind of talent that we have in our nation, we can have more clubs.”

 

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