- A lot of transfers The transfer window opened on ninth June and ISL clubs took to full swing and registered new players to strengthen their teams. The biggest transfer saw Armbinder Singh be part of ATK Mohun Bagan from Mumbai City, with whom he praised the ISL title last year. Attacker Liston Colaco also joined the Mariners from Hyderabad FC, whereas Lalruatthara jumped ship from Kerala Blasters to Odisha FC. Bengaluru FC, meanwhile, witnessed an exodus with four key players, together with Rahul Bheke, parting ways with the club. He was their lone scorer within the 2018-19 final, which clinched the Blues their initial and solely ISL title to date.
- More Indian players to play in the first 11 In a bid to market more local stars, the ISL recently increased the cap on Indian players in the beginning lineup to seven, up from the previous six. This new guideline can see one spot less for the foreign stars, however remains under the Asian soccer Confederation (AFC) rules. In the light-weight of India’s performance in the world cup qualifiers, this can be a welcome move. The ISL hasn’t helped rework the fortunes of the national team to the maximum because it was touted through its inaugural season in 2014. Back then, taking part in composition saw solely 5 domestic players within the first 11. But there’s been a gradual increase in spots for Indian players ever since and also the latest move may be a positive step towards nurturing additional native abilities.
- Additional young abilities in the squad In another exciting new policy, Football Sports Development Limited, the United Nations agency that runs the ISL, has increased the minimum number of development signings from 2 to four. which means additional energetic abilities can have the possibility to make a mark within the Indian high flight. Young guns like Ashish Rai, Rahul KP, Akash Mishra, and Jeakson Singh are several beneficiaries of this regulation in the past. All of them burst into senior groups as rising stars and created a decent impression. It was a testament to the expansion of young Indian players. But, with more development signings on the cards, expect to visualize lots of young abilities returning to the fore next season.
- Improvement in the refereeing standards The ISL, despite all its accomplishments, isn’t significantly familiar with its refereeing standards. The matter was obvious with the 2020-21 season, once several refereeing mistakes left fans outraged and an outcry for higher decision-making within the league. For instance, Roy Krishna’s goal versus Odisha in December 2020 was disallowed for an apparent handball in the build-up by Manvir Singh. However, replays showed the ball had come back off his hip instead and there was no handling of the ball. A few months later, Kerala Blasters too were at the receiving end of poor Refereeing. Gary Hooper saw a stunning volley disallowed as a result of the referee believing the ball didn’t cross the line after striking the bottom of the bar, though different camera angles showed it bounced over the line before returning into play. These are just some of the examples that demonstrate the requirement to boost refereeing quality. With the AIFF currently stepping in, ISL 2021-22 will hopefully introduce measures to iron out such blunders and guarantee there’s less controversy.
- ISL might pass the COVID-19 challenge once more Although the league struggles to match the success of the Indian Premier League, the ISL managed to handle the pandemic issues higher than its cricketing counterpart. While the IPL has been moved to the UAE, the ISL went on with its program on Indian soil and came through comparatively uninjured last season. That was a remarkable action. The choice to play all the games in an exceedingly single state behind closed doors rather than its usual multi-city format proved to be an accomplishment. Also, the organizers spent 17 crores on tests and brought 26,000 N95 masks too. So, even if the Indian Super League has a lot to do to match the IPL’s quality and glamour, it led the way with a flourishing bio-secure bubble to beat the virus. More of which will be expected with the ISL 2021-22.
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