All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said he is unlikely to accept FC Goa coach Zico's suggestion and reduce the number of overseas players from six in Indian Super League (ISL) games. In that context, Patel said, comparing the ISL with the I-League, where four imports are allowed, wasn't fair.
"A certain format has been agreed. I think it is good to have international stars coming. It brings more following to the game and our youngsters can play with superior players from outside India," Patel told HT from Goa on Saturday.
Asked whether ISL franchises want to join the I-League in 2015-16, Patel said, "Many ISL franchises are keen on the I-League and some I-League clubs are looking at participation in the ISL. If we can bring a commonality between these two, it will help Indian football because there will be more continuity and fan following. It will also improve the quality of teams because they will be playing as one unit for a longer period. Here, players have come from all over the world for two months, so it really doesn't integrate and knit the team well."
Little AIFF can do
Patel said there was little the AIFF could do about Mohun Bagan and East Bengal's accounts attached by the enforcement directorate in connection with a money-laundering investigation. Neither club can pay salaries because of this.
"These are issues beyond the purview of the AIFF; there is little we can do. (However) we would like to see both clubs in good shape. They have legacy, fan following and their contribution to Indian football is immense," he said.