The growing involvement of foreign players in Indian Football Leagues is a continuous matter of discussions in recent times. Abdul Hamid from Pakistan is regarded as the first foreign player to play for any Indian club when he joined Kolkata based club in 1930s. Hold on!! We are not going to discuss the history of this respective topic while we are interested in the facts and intellects more willingly.

Talking of the current situations, Indian football is on verge of evolving itself as per the international standards. As one continuously involved in the chants of Indian Football and its growing popularity and significance in a cricket crazy country, would most probably say, “Yes, it is happening for sure”. Being invited by FIFA in 1950 to participate in the World Cup followed by our ignorance to the call, the Indian Football team had never come closer to even qualify for the successive tournaments.

Talking of how one can improve the conditions of football in this country could be concluded by finishing the talks with the different ideas of spreading the grip of this wonderful game in every corner of the country. A country having 135 million population definitely have the capability of producing bunch of world class players if the majority get involved in this process. And how the attention of this majority could be bent towards the game?

One of the ideas which had been undertaken from years is to make this game look attractive and addictive. And how one could without the best resources make it possible? The best resources for this are the attractive players with their world class game. And do India have sufficient numbers of this level players in our country? The answer is No!! Yes, we do have talents but not sufficient number of players who had crafted their talent at it’s best. Then the idea of including foreign players with their attractive style of play comes under spotlight. They will rock the field with their game along with the Indian players.

Football player

There are many benefits of doing this, from attracting audience to improving the standards of our players so they could get habitual to the level of game. But along with several of benefits we have possibilities of disadvantages too. This could be understood by a simple example. If we need to improve or say upgrade the performance of a bunch of students in the class, the best way is to induce two to three foreign students who are supreme in terms of pre-existing ones. The result could be two-sided, one possibility is that the remaining students will try to improve themselves and reach to the new supreme level or they could get demoralized and will get worse. The result could be pre-determined by taking few things into consideration. First, the new ones should become good friends of the existing ones and secondly, each and everyone should get equal opportunity and proper help as per the need of every individual student. If these things are taken into consideration, the probability of getting fruitful results would be very high.

The same idea applies here. Talking about ATK this season in Indian Super League, they are the champions, but to how much extent they have improved the level of Indian players? Prabir Das is an exception. The U17 World Cup team player, Komal Thathal got a mere single appearance for just 6 minutes on the field this season. Once scouters of Manchester United had shown interest in this forward but it’s our misfortune that we are not understanding his potentials. The main reason for this act by the management of ATK was the presence of A-League heroes in their squads as forwards, Roy Krishna and David Williams. The young lad was not the only one to suffer in the club, he was accompanied by former East Bengal hero and Indian International Joby Justin too with Balwant Singh. At the time when we are finding the successor of Sunil Chhetri, these things doesn’t benefit us. The almost same situation is with the most probably best skillful player of India, Sahal Abdul Samad in Kerala Blasters. These are not the only cases rather our league is full of such examples. The problem is with the game time our young players are getting. Yes, it is a universal law that the fittest survives but do the clubs are doing their best to make them the fittest? Or they are just focusing on the team’s results.

The winning or losing of any club is of mere importance in uplifting the level of Indian Football. The focus should be on producing Indian talents along with keeping the level of league high with few foreign players as boosters. But, the focus should never be on just winning the trophies with inclusion of foreign players on cost of ignoring Indian options at a specific position. The idea of foreign players is correct but it’s current form of implementation in majority of Indian clubs in accordance with producing Indian talents on which both the Indian Team and the Leagues could rely fully in near future, is absolutely fruitless. The league along with clubs need the most required amendments in this ongoing idea along with keeping the things eye-catching for the people in stands.

Writer – Shubham Singh (SpoCombat Admin)

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