The India football captain Sunil Chhetri is hopeful about the Indian football’s future, even as the uncertainty regarding the merger of the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League continues and two I-League clubs, Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar pulled themselves out.
The 32-year-old Sunil Chhetri, who is also the skipper of the I-League champions Bengaluru FC, said that the ideal scenario for Indian football would be for there to be at least 20 teams to be competing in one unified domestic league, the more the teams, the better it is in the league.
As Chhetri said in an interview with Hindustan times,
“The more the teams, the better it is for the league. If you ask me what the ideal situation is, it would be 20 teams. Maybe a team from places like Madhya Pradesh and Lakshadweep. If a kid in Gujarat wants to make it big right now, he has to go beyond his state. It’s not difficult.”
“But imagine how good it will be if there are 20 teams in the main league and 20 more wanting to come in. It’ll be a pan-India league then. Why do we only get players from North East or Goa or Kerala? Why don’t we have superstars from, say, Madhya Pradesh. There must be talent there. Ideally I would want much more teams and a bigger league,”
“As captain of the Indian team, it will be good if the merger happens. Players do think about the two leagues merging into one. Sadly it’s not in their hands,”
And recently the All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed about the reopen of the tendering process to welcome fresh teams in hero I-League next season.