India coach Stephen Constantine made a bold statement on his recent blog wherein he calls for the ‘league issue’ to be resolved as soon as possible.
The former Rwanda coach further went on to state that the teams from the I-League, which is currently India’s premier club competition, need to conform to the ways of the Indian Super League (ISL) as that is the direction in which Indian football is tilting towards. He also pointed that clubs have to swim with the tide as opposed to remaining confined to age old practices or archaic ways.
“Of course we are still some way away from achieving our goal and there is work still to be done, our league issue must be resolved and quickly, I am of the opinion we need a parallel league at least for the next couple of years.
“We need to give the I-League clubs the (an) opportunity to adjust to the ways of the ISL as to be honest, this is how football is going to be moving forward. Of paramount importance is that clubs recognize that football will stand still for no one, move with it or get out of the way,” he wrote in his latest blog.
Constantine mentioned that the benefit of two leagues running simultaneously is that it affords more opportunities to players which would immensely benefit the national team.
“We need to have the two leagues running side-by-side so that more Indian players are playing. Our national U19s and U17s will, as many say surely, be signed up by the clubs, but how many of them will actually see (time on) the pitch? How many of them will play 90 minutes’ week in week out and this is exactly what they need - games!” he pontificated.
The former Sudan boss highlighted that young players need to be given an opportunity so that when the time comes for Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and others to retire, India isn’t short on replacements.
“We must give these players a pathway to succeed and come in and take the places of the Sunils, the Eugeneson’s and others when their time has come to hang up their boots. In the meantime, let’s enjoy this moment (1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan) and remember how it makes us all feel because if we remember this feeling it will that much harder to give it up.
“We are currently in a good place (top of the standings in group A of Asian Cup qualification) but let us not forget where were several years ago and remember if we do not continue to build and focus on the road ahead it does not take much to slip back into the past,” he said.