BENGALURU : Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia’s message is clear. With the ongoing coronavirus crisis deepening all over the world, he wants everyone — including players — to remain safe and follow instructions as given by experts. The Indian Super League final last week, which was played behind closed doors, was the last major event in the country, but when the new season kicks-off later this year, there could be some fresh changes. Bhutia touched upon few of them. Excerpts...
About players dealing with coronavirus They, like everyone else, will have to follow the guidelines, which has been given by the health ministry and also the experts in this particular field. It is important that they do not presume that it is not going to hit you. They will have to remain safe at this hour.
On reduction of foreign players in ISL It is up to the ISL to decide if they are going to bring down the numbers, and have four foreigners on the field. If it happens, there are two things, both positive and negative. If you look at the positive aspect, the Indian players will be allowed more opportunities on the field. That is for sure. But when we come to the negative part, the quality of the league also has to be maintained. It is important. After it initially came down from six to five, the quality of the game is not what it used to be in the earlier seasons. This is where the ISL has to take the call.
On ISL looking to accept pro coaching licence It is indeed a welcome sign for all the Indian coaches in the country. I’m sure that they will be able to handle top clubs of the country and if they are able to get results and do well, they deserve to be there. It could be a good move.
On merger of Mohun Bagan-ATK I just want to see how it pans out. For me, ATK should utilise the legacy of Mohun Bagan because the club has millions of fans. It is also legacy and their identity. Hope ATK can utilise that well, and if they do that, the merger will be of benefit.
On India failing to find next Sunil Chhetri Hopefully, we will be able to find a good striker soon, not just strikers, but also all-round players which is very important for the future of Indian football. The important thing is that we need to keep producing more and more players.