Questioning Indian Super League’s basic aim, Kerala Blasters FC coach Steve Coppell on Monday said that the league’s objective should be to develop facilities for kids and come out with a product that’s more competitive and can take India into top-100 ranking within 5-10 years.
“The objective should be to play more football, become more competitive. I’ve been here 12 games now and I find it hard to understand. Is the purpose to develop players, develop interest, or to find the best team?,” the former English footballer asked.
Concerned over the poor football infrastructure in India, he said the youngsters get facilities that are bare minimum.
“One of the prime purposes is to leave a legacy on the young players. Somewhere the ISL is got to owe responsibility to develop facilities for young players, so that in 5-10 years time India can have a football team that they can be proud of. At least in the top-100 in the world.”
Coppell, however, termed ISL exciting and said the organisers can reduce the ratio of Indian and foreign players to give more exposure to the local talents.
“It will be a next step in progression. This league is exciting to look at because of some of the great players here. May be every three-four years drop one International star, so next year you can have six Indians who will have more responsibility to become better players,” he suggested.
The 61-year-old former Manchester United midfielder did not quite like the idea of a short league, spanning about nine weeks.
“Longer season than nine weeks will impact young people more. Better facilities for kids. Six years onwards to be coached properly with coaches with proper education,” insisted Coppell.