AIFF is yet to decide the road map of the Indian Football. The decision might be taken by Praful Patel in New Delhi on June 10 but Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri was of the opinion that increased number of teams, whether under a unified league or not, would mean more employment for footballers.
“If we have ten teams in a league and ten teams in another, it means that are 20 teams competing in the country. That means employment of so many players in the country,” said the Bengaluru FC striker at the AIFF Awards.
The AIFF’s Special General Body Meeting (SGBM) was held in Mumbai on Thursday amid much speculation, but a consensus on the 2017-18 season could not be reached despite repeated efforts. It is possible that the leagues (I-League and Indian Super League) would run simultaneously. There is also talk of Federation Cup being cancelled.
“Whether there is a simultaneous league or not, if there are more clubs that are running properly then there is higher employment in Indian football,” said the Indian skipper.
“I have said repeatedly that more teams in one league is the ideal scenario. The increased number of teams playing in one league would be the best thing for Indian football and no one can argue against it,” he said.Speaking about a possible unification of leagues, Chhetri reasserted that the unity would be the ideal scenario as it would enhance the level of competition and enable the younger generation.
“A unified league will create more competition. More players will get a chance, especially the youngsters. We want a structure that will produce 20 Udantas, 20 Gurpreets and 20 Jejes every year. We need to have league structure that will allow the younger generations to play,” added India’s highest goal scorer. He also stated that weekend fixtures would be ideal to all players.
The AIFF Awards saw Indian forward Jeje Lalpekhlua awarded the 2016 Player of the Year while Sasmita Malik took home the 2016 Woman Player of the Year.