FC Goa star Edu Bedia feels that it is too early to implement the 3+1 foreigners rule in the ISL, as it might hamper the development of the domestic players. As per the existing rule, each ISL side is allowed to field five foreigners, while they can register a total of seven overseas players.
The Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), organisers of the Indian Super League recently announced that the clubs will have to field a mandatory Asian player from the next season. In fact, the Indian national team coach Igor Stimac has been pressing hard to curb the number of foreigners in ISL clubs for the development of local players. Edu Bedia feels otherwise, stating that the 3+1 (3 foreigners + 1 Asian) rule might hamper the growth of Indian players if imposed now.
“This will be the seventh season of the ISL, so it’s still a brand new competition. I think it’s too early to change the rule [3+1] for foreigners [even] as everyone in India wants the league to improve. The foreign players not only provide you with the jump in terms of quality but also improve the Indians – competitively and tactically.”
The Spaniard has been playing in the ISL for the last three seasons, having played an influential role for his side throughout. The former La Liga player believes that India needs to work on its grassroots for the development of its players to reach the highest stage.
“The one main step is working from the base – grassroots,” he said. “India needs to be patient and this has happened in European football. You cannot expect the league to improve one year after another. You have to work on the grassroots, be patient with players to reach the highest stage and improve the league. That is what India has to focus on,” added the footballer.