Ashley Westwood feels that Indian players are ready to make up for a less foreigner in the side, with the football authorities deciding to truncate the overseas player quota in the future. Westwood has been actively involved in Indian football, having led Bengaluru FC to a couple of I-League titles.
After constant pressing from Indian national team coach Igor Stimac, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) along with the organisers of the ISL - Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) decided to truncate the number of players in the foreign quota in the future. Most likely from the 2021-22 Indian Super League, the 3+1 foreign player rule (3 overseas + 1 Asian) will be applicable to reduce the dependability of players on overseas recruits and give more playing time to Indian footballers. The move was lauded by former Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood and feels that the Indian players have the capabilities to make up with a less foreigner in their team.
“Indian players have improved so much in the seven years that it is the right time to bring the foreigners down. Martin Bain, who is in charge of the ISL, is doing a good job. He is aware that the league is there to improve Indian football. Now the Indian boys are ready to manage with one less foreigner because the standard of Indian football has improved compared to what it was seven years ago,” said Ashley Westwood, as reported by Sportstar.
The Brit has spent a considerable amount of time in Indian football, having led Bengaluru FC to two I-League titles and Federation Cup. Even though he returned to India as ATK’s interim coach, the stint was largely insignificant. According to him, the Indian players will be eligible to play in European leagues only when the standard of football improves improving over the years.
The time will come for sure if the culture and standard keep getting better over the years. At this moment is difficult for Indian players to go out and play bigger leagues as in Europe, the kids start at the age of five or six and play football seven days a week. They have far more opportunities to play. In India the facilities are improving, the academies are improving and the clubs are improving too," added Westwood.