Clifford Miranda: We should not be too apprehensive about the ISL

The 31-year-old will continue his trade with the Golden Eagles with an eye to feature in the cash-rich Indian Super League (ISL) as well...

GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter

Clifford Rayes Miranda has revealed that he is close to signing a contract with Dempo SC and disclosed that he could play for the Indian Super League (ISL) franchisee in which the club's owner Shrinivas Dempo, along with Videocon and Dattaraj Salgaocar, have a collaboration.

"Dempo themselves have a team in the ISL and they have planned to rope in their own players from the club to play in it. This is one of the options they had put in front of me which I managed to negotiate with them. So as of now, the first option to sign me [in the ISL] will remain with Dempo," Miranda told Goal.

"I will sign for Dempo for sure, but based on whether the ISL franchisees are allowed to retain players from their own club, then they (Dempo's ISL franchisee) will have the first right to sign me provided that I agree to their terms. If a better offer comes along, I can always move. Otherwise I would have to play for Dempo ISL team only - although I would have loved to, but if a better offer comes I'll be stuck here. As it is, I'm playing for Dempo. So it's always fair to have your options open," he explained.

The India international believes that the competition level in the ISL "should be good" while stating that the new league which has been conceptualized by the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) commercial and marketing partners, IMG-Reliance, will have a positive impact on football in the country.

"It (competition level in the ISL) should be good, as and when they get quality foreigners - not that I'm saying that the quality of the foreigners playing in the I-League is not so good, but when you have a tournament of that magnitude, obviously they will try to get in the best players - probably who have just retired or about to retire," he said.

"The quality of the game will improve. The marketing as well will be good and we will get a lot of attraction from all around. People who have not taken much interest in football will also be there at the stadiums and watch on television. It (ISL) is going to be good for football [in India], I believe."

However he was quick to add that comparisons mustn’t be made between the I-League and the ISL.

"I-League will survive. You cannot compare the two. I-League will remain the premier league in the country. ISL will have its place and so will the I-League. ISL will be for a short while, whereas the I-League will be spread over a period of about six months like it has always been. And you cannot replace clubs like East Bengal, Mohun, Dempo, Salgaocar as they are like institutes and you cannot change them overnight.  They have their own history.

 How do you stay up with football when on the move? With –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.