The AIFF’s executive committee had in September decided to include only Indian players in the second division league. The decision will widen the pool of talent for national team selection. The move will give local players a chance to hone their skills.
New Delhi. According to All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Choubey, the decision not to include foreign players in the country’s second division league (Santosh Trophy) will widen the scope of talent for national team selection. The AIFF’s executive committee had in September decided to include only Indian players in the second division league.
The national federation has signed an MoU with its Saudi Arabian counterpart for the final leg of the Santosh Trophy in the West Asian country. Choubey said in AIFF’s 2022 review e-magazine, “There is a dearth of key position players in the Indian team. Top domestic competitions such as the ISL and the I-League occupy such a niche with foreign players. In such a situation, this step will give an opportunity to local players to improve their skills at this level.
“We are confident that this move will help in creating a bigger pool of talent for national team selection from Santosh Trophy, the inter-state senior championship,” he added. The second-division league will have 15 teams from across the country. . Along with this, there will be reserve teams of ISL and I-League teams, whose final stage matches will be played at the home and opponent’s ground. The earlier provision of having a certain number of U-22 players in the squad will not be mandatory from the current season.
The Santosh Trophy will be contested between 32 states, while the semi-finals, third-place playoff and final will be played in Jeddah or Riyadh. The AIFF chief said, “This will give experience and opportunity to more than 100 players and coaching staff to travel abroad and play in international facilities.” More matches can be made available to the players and playing against the same team every year can be avoided.
“These are initial steps and probably the first of many more steps to be taken by the AIFF,” he said. We are hopeful that this will be a good start on the long road to international success.” Choubey pointed out that another important decision taken by the new executive committee, which took charge in September, was to allow I-League winners, subject to meeting club licensing criteria, Getting promoted to ISL.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.