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'Too Many Foreign Players in I-League,’ de Matos Laments Lack of Indian Players in National League

Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos lamented the influx of foreign players in I-League, saying that 6 foreign players in a team is way too many and that it doesn’t help the Indian players.

Arjit Dabas | News18 Sports

Updated:December 22, 2017, 9:04 AM IST
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'Too Many Foreign Players in I-League,’ de Matos Laments Lack of Indian Players in National League
(AIFF Images)

New Delhi: Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos lamented the influx of foreign players in I-League, saying that 6 foreign players in a team is way too many and that it doesn’t help the Indian players.

The AIFF had changed regulations prior to the current season to increase the quota of foreign players I-League teams can sign from 4 to 6 (4+ 2 from an Asian country) after the clubs had pushed for an increase in the limit.

“If you play 6 foreign players in the starting line-up, that leaves place for only 4 Indian players plus the goalkeeper. I feel no more than 3 foreign players should be allowed,” de Matos said on the eve of the game against Gokulam Kerala FC.

However, he praised the league, calling it exciting but at the same time making it clear that it is a platform for him to improve the team.

“I-League is an experience, it’s a process for my boys. We have to build on the World Cup. This generation is fantastic,” de Matos said.

He was proud of the performance his boys have put in despite losing two of the three games so far.

“We are the only team playing with 16,17,18 year-olds. The team is progressing really well. We are coherent in our play. We still need to put in a lot of hours in training and play a lot more matches against tougher opposition. “

“We played practice games against academies of ISL clubs and other young teams, where we won easily,” de Matos said.

Comparing I-League to the World Cup, de Matos said that the organization of the teams in the World Cup was a lot better team but in the I-League, individual players can make a lot of difference.

The Arrows have impressed in moments so far but have been lacking any potency in the final third. They have also been outplayed physically, which was expected considering the average age of the team.

“Attacking is the most difficult part of football, that’s why I say we need more time. Physically, we might not be as strong, but if you see our matches, especially against Minerva, despite their players being taller and stronger, my boys gave them a tough fight even from throw-ins and set pieces,”

After playing their home matches in Goa, de Matos and boys will now return to Delhi – the place where they played their three World Cup matches.

The Indian Arrows will take on Gokulam Kerala FC on Tuesday at the Ambedkar Stadium.

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| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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