AIFF raises I league club’s foreign player quota

As Indian super league has set to reduce its foreign player quota, I league rules have now been changed to increase the foreign players quota.

The Foreign player numbers has been raised from four to six this season, with maximum five playing on the field. Previously I league was allowed to register maximum of four players, one of whom has to be from AFC affiliated countries.


With wide scale changes seen in domestic football circuit in the form of extending ISL, I league heavy weights East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers had raised the issue that the top division league clubs should have the same number of foreign players as the parallel tournament ISL has, which allows teams to sign 8 foreigners with 5 being allowed on the field. However many other I-League clubs, including Minerva Punjab, Chennai City FC and current I league champions Aizawl FC, strongly disagreed this proposal. According to them, I league should still emphasize its focus on Indian players.

Also Read: USA Soccer Federation’s President Sunil Gulati speaks on Indian Football

AIFF has now agreed to the rule change request trying to find a middle ground. According to two new rule, Maximum 6 foreign players can be signed by I league clubs, out of which two should from AFC affiliated countries. The second rule states that at a time maximum five foreign players can be fielded with one of them being a national of AFC associated countries. It should be noted that ISL can sign maximum eight players of which five can play at a time on field.

AIFF has now allowed both the leagues to field five foreign players in a hope to bridge the gap between the two leagues. While ISL has now increased the opportunities for Indian players, I league has went the opposite way, only time will tell whether this was a wise decision or not.

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