Mumbai: Model-turned actor and North East United FC co-owner John Abraham believes that the merger of the Indian Super League with the erstwhile I-League is the need of the hour for the country to lift its football standard. The actor is hopeful that ISL will gain more momentum if merged I-League.
“The merger of the two leagues is inevitable. I know it’s being talked about, but I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Abraham was quoted as saying The Times of India on Friday.
It may be recalled that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently laid out a blueprint that advocated for the merger of the two leagues, particularly to maximise revenue for the Indian football. “With deep respect towards the I-League clubs, let me say that the clubs are consistently losing money over decades. Here’s an opportunity to create a merger…a larger platform by private initiative. We have to give them chance,” he was quoted.
However, in another interview with a national television channel, while highlighting the good things about the ISL, the actor put his weight behind the organisers’ committee to scan the disciplinary issues of the I-League. “I am happy that a separate committee is there to keep the indiscipline under check,” Abraham said about the controversy after the final of 2015 edition.
Following Chennaiyin FC’s 3-2 victory over FC Goa in the final, fight broke out in which Chennaiyin FC striker was accused of assaulting Goa FC owner. An FIR was also filed and the footballer had to even spend a night in jail.
Welcoming the influx of the more quality foreign players, Abraham didn’t forget to remind them that India is not a holiday destination for them. “You just cannot come here, have fun, earn money and go home…the players will have to take it seriously to avoid ,” the actor sounded serious.