There are lots of questions that need answering in today’s ISL news roundup.
The owner of ISL leaders Bengaluru FC has called for a merger between the ISL and the more traditional I-League. Using Twitter, Parth Jindal admitted he was disappointed that his side would not be facing the likes of East Bengal and Moghan Bagan this season. Bengaluru FC switched from the I-League having won it in 2014 and 2016. Jindal said he would like a “unified league ASAP”.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are also keen to see it happen. They are believed to be sending over a list of recommendations to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their commercial partners IMG-Reliance. In the list is thought to be a roadmap to bringing the two leagues together.
The AFC had earlier wanted a league comprising of 18 teams from both Indian Super League and I-League but the franchise model of the ISL meant this could not happen.
However, combining the two leagues could make a lot of sense if it can be done in a way that does not dilute the thrill of the ISL. 18 teams means a longer, more sustainable season which is good for the clubs and the fans. More teams, especially with some of the traditional big names of Indian football, should raise the quality meaning Indian sides could have a greater chance of success in the AFC competitions as well as on the international stage.
We shall wait and see what happens.
It seems that ATK might already be in a mini-crisis. Manager Teddy Sheringham and Technical Director Ashley Westwood have apparently fallen out, with Westwood expected to leave the club. Westwood was the former Bengaluru FC manager brought in for his understanding on how to win titles in India, and with Sheringham having a far from glittering start to his managerial career it is surprising that he may be the man who stays. Westwood is understood to be unhappy with Sheringham’s training methods and was not happy with the tactics employed by ATK in their 4-1 defeat to FC Pune City. What odds on Westwood ending up in the ISL again in the future?
One of the stars of the Indian U17 side in the recent World Cup held in Indian has reportedly turned down offers from Europe favouring a move to an ISL side. Komal Thatal is thought to be interesting both ATK and FC Pune City.
Kerala Blasters need something to spark their season into life and it could well be Ugandan midfielder Kizito Keziron. He has arrived in Kochi and is expected to be announced as a signing in the next few days. Kizito is an attacking midfielder who can play anywhere behind the striker and was previously playing his football in Romania.