Ayush Mazumdar: In the ongoing Hero Super Cup of 2018 going on in the Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar, the glitzy glamour of the Indian Super League is goung through a reality check of sorts. What is that X-Factor that matters so much in this context? Accordingly the thing that is quite relevant is the use of players by the i-league teams who have proved themselves much more acquainted with the Indian palying conditions. They have that added calibre when it comes to acclimatization with the India humid conditions. For instance, players like Maseh Saighani of Aizawl FC, Akhram Moghrabi and Kinowaki (though Mohun Bagan played against Churchill Brothers F.C., which is an I-League Club), the stellar Mahmoud Al Amna and Katsumi Yusa of East Bengal have proved much more effective than Lucian Goian, Achile Emana, Mailson Alves, Nelson, Nworuh etc, the factor that proves to be decisive is that in the Indian Super League the foreign palyers contingent mostly belong from Europe and South America.Hence, the standard remains same but in the Hero Super Cup facing I-League clubs with strong Asian flavour poses a challenge.
Indian Super League has a Euro-centric approach to the development of football. Indian Super League was started with the purpose of developing Indian football. Indian and European conditions are different. India needs to learn as much from Asian giants as it needs to do from South America and Europe. However, getting to challenge global superpower requires us to first challenge Asian giants. Thus, Indian Super League needs to bring forth players from Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, South Korea etc to give a holistic pattern. The failure of Indian Super League clubs represent the failure of Indian National Football Team. The failure is of an approach based on Euro-centrism.