The Indian Super League’s 2021-22 season will witness an increase in the number of local players on the pitch, thanks to new rules that require clubs to feature a minimum of seven Indian footballers at one time, up from the previous six. Because the number of Indian players has increased, there will be one fewer slot for foreign stars, who will now be limited to four.
The first edition of the tournament, held in 2014, featured a lineup of six foreigners and five Indians.
The league has gradually raised the number of spots available for Indian players, with the ISL 2017-18 season having a minimum of six Indian players on the field, which is now increased to seven for the next season. The Asian Football Confederation’s club competitions regulations require that foreign players be limited to a maximum of four.
Clubs can now recruit up to six foreign players, one of whom must be from an AFC member country. Within the League-approved classifications, a team can also sign a foreign marquee player.
Starting this season, the FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited, the league’s governing body) will require clubs to boost their development player signings from two to four, while keeping two of them in the match-day squad.
A club’s maximum squad size is 35 players, with three goalkeepers registered.
An injury substitute for an Indian player might also be found at a club (outside of the maximum 35 registered players).
For the upcoming season, the pay cap for the squad stands at $16.5 crore.
The transfer window in Indian football will begin on Wednesday, providing teams the opportunity to aggressively pursue the players of their choice.