Former India head coach Stephen Constantine stated that Indian footballers suffered due to the poor attitude of foreigners playing in the ISL. The Brit welcomed the decision of the AIFF to implement the 3+1 foreigners rule in domestic leagues, which will give more opportunities to Indian players.
Stephen Constantine has been an influential figure behind India’s surge in the FIFA rankings in the past few years, having guided the Blue Tigers to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup - their first appearance since 2011. It was following their exit from the continental meet that the British manager stepped down from the post, but his spell was long enough for him to know the ins and outs of India's domestic circuit. According to him, Indian footballers have suffered due to the poor attitude of the foreigners playing in the Indian Super League.
“The biggest issue for me though was some foreign players would come in and have very poor attitudes, and of course, there are too many of them. Indian players would then suffer as coaches would play the foreigner in his preferred position and stick the Indian player anywhere thus preventing them from playing in their natural positions,” said Stephen Constantine, to Outlook.
After repeated requests from the current Indian coach Igor Stimac, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), along with FSDL has finally decided to implement the 3+1 foreigners rule in domestic leagues. Constantine further admitted that the rule would give more opportunities to Indian players, even though it should have been the case from the first day itself.
“So at times, you would see our Indian forward playing left-back or centre midfield to accommodate the foreign player and of course that hurt the development of the Indian player. I understand that this issue has been resolved, and it is now three foreigners and one Asian player. It should have been like that from day one,” added the manager.