All but two I-League clubs express support for implementation of ‘3+1’ foreigners rule from 2020-21

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday held discussions with the club owners and officials of all the 10 I-League clubs on the plans for the 2020-21 season. Several key points were discussed, including the implementation of the ‘3+1’ foreigners rule and the scheduling of the next transfer window.

Sources close to Goal have confirmed that eight out of the 10 clubs, including Indian Arrows, have agreed to AIFF’s plan to follow Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) 3+1 rule -  three foreign players of any nationality + 1 foreign player from AFC member nation.

The plan, if implemented, will see the clubs being allowed to register just four foreign players (including an Asian) in their squads from the next season.

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Goal understands that Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala were not in support of the rule. While Real Kashmir want four foreigners in the squad without any Asian player, Gokulam Kerala suggested that clubs maybe allowed five foreigners including an Asian player.

The AIFF has listened to the opinions of all 10 clubs and will further discuss the matter in the coming weeks before arriving to a conclusion.

The AIFF technical committee, chaired by former India striker Shyam Thapa, had recently recommended the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League to implement the  ‘3+1’ foreigners rule from the 2021-22 season.

But the I-League might see the rule implemented sooner than that, if the suggestions are approved.

As Goal had earlier revealed, the Indian FA is also planning to reschedule the summer transfer window which is scheduled to start on June 9 and end on August 31. In the discussion, AIFF did discuss the possiblity of shifting the transfer window to August with the clubs.

However, no decision has yet been taken and the Indian FA will need to consult FIFA on this matter before arriving at a schedule.


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