Mohun Bagan’s omission from the ISL has saddened Indian football fans all around. Mohun Bagan fans have staged multiple protests regarding the same, even joining hands with East Bengal fans, with whom they have been at loggerheads with since time immemorial.
Even Sunil Chhetri is gutted that Mohun Bagan wouldn’t be a part of the next ISL season, as Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan had forged a wonderful rivalry in the last two seasons.
ISL and I-League will be held simultaneously from the next season, and Bengaluru FC is one of the two new teams that will be playing the ISL this season. Bengaluru FC have made the switch from the I-League to the ISL.
“I will miss them (Mohun Bagan). I’m not trying to hint anything but I loved our game against Mohun Bagan. In last three years the rivalry between Mohun Bagan and BFC is the best thing that has happened,” said Chhetri.
Chhetri had to make the call of playing for either Mumbai City FC or Bengaluru FC(as he had played for both in the previous season), and he chose to go in with Bengaluru FC.
Chhetri believes that with the two leagues being held simulatanoeusly, Indian players would get a broader base and will be able to get some much needed league-experience under their belt.
“The good part is there will be 20 teams playing at the same time, so more players will get opportunity, especially the Indians. Last year when both happened differently the same players almost played the ISL and I-League. Now more Indian players will get opportunity,”
“I want both the leagues to flourish as at the end of the day, you want more Indian players to come in. The problems that some of the players were not employed last year might not happen this time with 20 teams playing simultaneously. ” Chhetri said.
“I, you and the whole country would prefer that any day. We are 1.3 billion people. I would love to see 20 (teams) in first, second, third and fourth divisions… I think we can cater to that.
“As a captain of the country I would like all the players who are good enough should get an opportunity to play.” he added.
“Eventually I want to see four foreigners. I do not know which league you are talking about. From next year it’s going to be four that’s what I’ve been promised.
“It’s a simple. You want to win a league or the Federation Cup because you want to compete in the AFC. This is a big price. When you play AFC, you must play with their rules, this is what I feel.” he concluded