Indian Football: Abhishek Yadav - Parallel leagues would benefit the players immensely

The former India skipper opines that it is vital to create employment opportunities for existing and budding professional footballers…

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial and marketing partners, IMG-Reliance have mooted a proposal wherein the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) would run simultaneously. The plan will be discussed at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 7 with various stakeholders from across the Indian football fraternity being invited.

While the pros and cons of the above mentioned plan has been debated upon, Abhishek Yadav, who serves as the COO of the India Under-17 World Cup team, has thrown his weight behind. He stated that if the plan to have two leagues being conducted parallel sees light of the day, it will impact the Indian football ecosystem in a positive way.

Back in May 2016 when the roadmap for Indian football was first shared, the AIFF Director of Scouting had pointed that by creating opportunities, the pool of players will gradually increase which means that a talented individual will certainly find a place in the system.

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“In my opinion and this is something which I had mentioned last year as well when the roadmap for Indian football was introduced, that leagues running parallely would have benefit the players. We have to work on a structure where there are several opportunities for players. I am sure the AIFF and IMG-Reliance have kept the same in mind and come up with this proposal which is aimed at taking Indian football to the next level. “Only through healthy discussions and collective efforts can we progress as a nation,” he told Goal.

Earlier there were concerns that a player plying his trade in the Santosh Trophy or a University tournament wouldn’t get a chance to break into professional clubs. However, should the two leagues run in tandem, this will allow the clubs to go beyond the existing set of players and scout for younger talent from the above mentioned competitions.

“I do think that younger players will get more opportunities. In fact, the AIFF and their partners are working on several projects which will create multiple opportunities for a budding player. We will create a strong system so that no talent goes unnoticed,” he signed off.