After the marketing blitz of the ISL over the past two seasons and the introduction of Premier Futsal this year, the I-League seasons have been delayed.
Players have been carrying niggles and injuries into the I-League, with many managers complaining about this. Former East Bengal coach Biswajit Bhattacharya has also complained about the role of ISL in context of defender Bernand Mendya��s injury.
Though there are talks of a merger between the ISL and the I-League, the national league should focus on campaigns of attracting youngsters to the stadium, who follow the Premier League, La Liga with great fevour. Clubs should have an interactive fan base, where fans can regularly interact with their favorite players. A great example is that of Bengaluru FC, who manage to get support in Mumbai.
Grassroot programs should be given encouragement as local talent can be groomed. Coaching clinics should be conducted on a regular basis, especially during the summer season to build a fan base. The grassroot program is non-existent in the country, while Asian countries such as Japan have a systematic program in place. The results have shown in consistent World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2014.
More impetus should be given to referees in pursuit of their FIFA license. Better the exposure for referees and officials, more the quality of the league improves to induce foreigners to play in the league. Lastly, India should play more friendly games as better opposition gives solid experiences. Matches against Non-Asian countries should be played often, as fanbase increases along with experience.