New Delhi: It is not the mere presence of a few international stars but the organisational aspects of the Premier League Soccer (PLS), which would determine whether the much talked-about event turns out to be a boon or bane for Indian football, feels national team striker Sunil Chhetri.
"The league is great, it`s great that the likes of (Fabio) Cannavaro and (Hernan) Crespo are coming, but what`s more important is the way the tournament is organised.
"If it is organised in a better way then it should help in the overall and long-term development of Indian football," Chhetri said.
According to All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das, the decks have been cleared for the IFA-organised tournament, which ran into rough weather after the AIFF had asked FIFA to temporarily suspend the six PLS clubs from Transfer Matching System (TMS), which allows a club to recruit foreign players.
FIFA rules don`t allow a registered player to associate with another club and, in accordance with that, the I-League players, including the ones who play for the national team, are not eligible to compete in the PLS.
Asked if it`s an opportunity lost for the I-League players as the field will comprise of quite a few international stars, including a World Cup-winning skipper, Chhetri said, "that`s how it is in football".
Climax Lawrence suggested that the scheduling should be worked out in such a way that allows the I-league players to compete in the PLS.
"Playing with them will definitely improve the skills of our players. But then in football, a player can`t be registered with two clubs. Yes, the scheduling can be worked out that way," Climax said.
The confusion over the international transfers of the icon players in the PLS was resolved at an emergency meeting of the AIFF yesterday after it gave the Indian Football Association the green light to organise the tournament.
Das also had a meeting with IFA general secretary Utpal Ganguli here today.
"It is clear now," Das said.
He hoped that the icon players` participation is approved as their presence would help in "unearthing" talents and also make the tournament "viable".
Asked about the number of foreigners` participation in an I-League match, Das said, "A discussion was held in this regard but for the moment the (3+1) rule is fine".