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No Asian quota, increased salary cap: Player selection guidelines likely to undergo changes from ISL 2024-25

No Asian quota, increased salary cap: Player selection guidelines likely to undergo changes from ISL 2024-25

In addition to the potential removal of the Asian quota, ISL is also considering increasing the salary cap from Rs 16.5 crore to Rs 18 crore.

Indian Super League clubs are anticipating some changes in the coach and player selection guidelines ahead of ISL 2024-25, with the Asian player signing requirement potentially being eliminated. This development comes as a relief for many clubs, including those in the I-League, India’s second-tier football league. Currently, these clubs can sign five international players, in addition to one player from a member association of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), such as Australia. However, a maximum of four foreign players can be on the field at any given time.

No Asian quota from ISL 2024-25

The ISL is considering scrapping the ‘Asian quota’ due to changes in the AFC club competition guidelines. According to sources, clubs have been informally briefed about these potential adjustments. “There is no formal communication from ISL about the changes, but clubs have been informally informed about the ‘tentative possible changes’ for next season,” a source following the developments told Times Of India on Sunday. “From the 2024-25 season, AFC has allowed teams to register an unlimited number of foreign players who can play in the Champions League. There is no Asian quota anymore and several countries will announce changes.”

This change in the Asian player rule is seen as positive news for Indian clubs, which often find that Asian players do not offer good value for money. A senior club official expressed this sentiment, stating, “The Asian player change is fantastic and will make a lot of difference. Asian players cost a lot and, for the quality they provide on the field, most do not offer good value for money. It’s better to make foreign signings when you are not restricted geographically.”

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Among the ISL clubs, champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Mumbai City, East Bengal, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters, and Bengaluru FC have Asian players contracted for the next season. For example, ISL champions Mohun Bagan have three ‘Asian’ players from Australia. Forwards Dimitri Petratos and Jason Cummings were crucial to their Shield-winning campaign, scoring 22 goals combined. Petratos, in particular, was voted player of the season for his 10 goals and seven assists.

Increase in salary cap from ISL 2024-25

In addition to the potential removal of the Asian quota, ISL is also considering increasing the salary cap from Rs 16.5 crore to Rs 18 crore. Under the new guidelines, two players—either domestic or international—from each club will be exempt from the salary cap. Previously, only the salary of a marquee player was outside the cap. This change will allow clubs to invest more freely in international talent without worrying about salary restrictions.

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