The Indian Super League on Monday, July 6 approved the 3+1 foreigners regulation for matches from the 2021/22 season, bringing it down from the existing five to boost “increased participation” of local Indian players.
The decision was taken during a Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL) meeting attended by its chairperson Nita Ambani and is being communicated with the stakeholders including all franchises and the All India Football Federation.
As per the new regulation, an ISL club could sign a maximum of six foreigners in the squad including a compulsory Asian origin player, with four foreigners on the field. The 3+1 foreign player rules are governed by the Asian Football Confederation competition regulation.
The move is expected to boost increased participation of Indian players in the top-flight. Currently an ISL club is allowed to sign up to seven international players and play a maximum of five on the field.
ISL has been conferred the top football league status in India by the Asian Football Confederation in 2019. Since ISL is now part of the AFC competitive regulations, the change in foreign player guidelines in Indian football is an important step towards the Indian league aligning to the Asian football international regulations.
“The decision is an outcome of ISL and its clubs aligned vision with the national federation (All Indian Football Federation) and a result of joint consultation,” the league said.
In May, the AIFF’s executive committee unanimously implemented the ‘3 (foreigners) + 1 (Asian) recruit rule’ for I-League matches from the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Then, the apex body had said the ISL organisers, FSDL, will work with the AIFF and present a plan on the way forward for foreign players in the next couple of months with now a final decision taken.