Igor Stimac Asserts I-League Players are Also Eligible for National Team Selection

Mudeet Arora
Igor Stimac has revealed I-League players are also eligible for Indian national team selection
Igor Stimac has revealed I-League players are also eligible for Indian national team selection / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/Getty Images

Indian football team coach Igor Stimac has clearly stated that playing in the I-League does not mean that a player is ineligible for selection in the senior national team.

India's current national team is preparing ahead of the two international friendlies against Oman and UAE, later this month.

As of now, all the players are from the Indian Super League, with none from the I-League team making a cut. Stimac has been very vocal of his expectations from the I-League.

It has been reported that Stimac and his assistant coach Venkatesh is keeping a thorough watch on the I-League matches and have the statistics at their disposal

"Some people were worried that I didn't follow I-League this year but I have Venkatesh there and he is involved in every single game so I have great numbers, statistics from the I-League. That is the way we follow. ISL is the professional part of Indian football, it is very well organised and from this part, the players are coming to the national team,” said Igor Stimac, during a chat with AIFF TV.

He added, "From I-League, because it has a lower quality of football, I consider I-League for now as a filter for the ISL. It is a platform where young Indian players develop, grow and gets recognised by ISL clubs and signed by them. Which doesn't mean that some of the I-League players can't get on the national team list."

Stimac then revealed that there is a lot happening behind the scenes to improve the future of football in India as he concluded, "People who see Indian football, they only see ISL or the national team playing but they cannot see those things happening behind the scenes, what we are doing with the grassroots program, the baby leagues with the youth development program. This work will be seen very soon,"