news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | December 9, 2014 | 10.10 am IST "Why have so many good players been excluded from the Indian Super League?" This is the first question that I M Vijayan former Indian football player, popularily called the Black Pearl asks as soon the ISL is mentioned. Vijayan is a self-proclaimed ISL fan and has repeatedly said he wishes ISL had happened during his time, but that doesn't stop the former Indian striker from expressing his dissatisfaction for excluding many good football players from the ISL team Kerala Blasters. “Since we have a team for Kerala, it was a good opportunity for our own players. But the team did not include many best players from the state. More Kerala players should get opportunity in the Blasters team” the former Indian captain, who was the most-feared striker in his time, told The News Minute. Vijayan points out that football in India was terribly in need of a face lift and ISL will help the game to survive in India. “I wish the ISL happened in my time; but am happy that it did occur now. It will bring a football revolution in India” He also hopes that football has got many new fans through ISL as it is telecasted on five national channels. He is in fact a commentator in Malayalam, for the ISL plays broadcasted by Asianet. However Vijayan is not happy with the selection process of the Kerala Blasters. He was sad that good players like him and John Paul Anjeri were not included in the selection process of the players. He believes that if the eight ISL clubs in India starts football academies it can definitely contribute great players to Indian football team. “If all the eight ISL clubs have such academies, India will get plenty of young and talented footballers” he said Talking specifically about Kerala football he said that Kerala and North east region has the best players in the country. “The only thing is that our players should get an opportunity. We have very good players in the teams of Kerala police, titanium and in other football teams too. ISL is the best opportunity for them, but we failed to provide it” Vijayan is confident about the facilities and infrastructure available in Kerala for football. “We were a group of talented national players and we had learnt football from here, we had all facilities and we have the capacity to develop it more” he said “Kerala was once the biggest supplier of talents in Indian Football team, but there is not even a single player from Kerala in the current Indian team.” He added He also asked that why should our players play for Calcutta or Goa? “They should get opportunity in their own state, only then they can play well."

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