AIFF implements '3+1' foreigners rule in I-League; ISL asked to follow suit from 2021-22

The number of foreigners allowed per team in the I-League will come down to four from the upcoming season. The rule follows Asian Football Confederation (AFC) guidelines which means one of those four overseas players must be from an AFC affiliated country.

This is after the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Executive Committee met on Wednesday via video conferencing and ratified the implementation of the '3+1' foreigners rule in I-League from the upcoming 2020-21 season.

On Monday, the Indian FA had held discussions with all 10 I-League clubs over the implementation of the aforementioned foreigners rule from the next season. All but two clubs had agreed to the suggestion of the AIFF.

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Now that the executive committee has officially declared the implementation of the new rule, the I-League will be allowed to register just four foreign players (including an Asian) in their squads from the next season.

In regards to ISL, the AIFF President Praful Patel recommended that the foreigners rule has to be changed to conform with the AFC standards (3+1 rule). However, he did allow them a bit of leeway and has asked Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) to come up with a plan for foreigners in the next couple of months. It is understood that FSDL representatives also agreed principally to Patel's suggestion but mentioned that they need to consult their internal stakeholders.

FSDL representatives, also present at the meeting, stated that they need to come to a decision after an internal discussion. Patel stressed that the decision on reducing the foreigners will kick in only after the 2020-21 season.


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