Chennaiyin FC’s Debjit Majumder approves of ‘more Indians on field’ rule change

ISL clubs will be required to have seven Indian players present on the pitch at all times, up from the previous requirement of six.

Debjit Majumder

Chennaiyin FC’s goalkeeper Debjit Majumder was in favor of the latest tweak in rules, saying that the requirement of having more Indian players on the field can only be good for the development of the sport in the country. From the 2021/22 season onwards, the number of Indian players compulsorily present on the pitch has been increased from 6 to 7, which means that the coaches can only select a maximum of foreigners: similar to the guidelines followed in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Speaking to ISL, Debjit Majumder said that the presence of more Indian players on the field from the next edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) will give the national coach a variety of options for selection. Debjit Majumder joined Chennaiyin FC from East Bengal SC on a free transfer this summer and will be looking to guide the South Indian outfit to a better showing than last season.

The 33-year-old Bengal-born keeper, who had been shuttling between Mohun Bagan, ATK, and East Bengal SC for the past five and a half years, also said he felt Chennaiyin even had a shot at their third title next season. He has already won the Indian Super League once, with the now-renamed Atletico de Kolkata back in 2016, which was their second league victory at that time.

Debjit Majumder’s interview

Debjit Majumder
Debjit Majumder in action

On the rule change from six to seven Indians on field:

It’s a great decision. For the Indian team and their coaches also, it’s going to be helpful as they can observe more Indian players in different positions before selecting the Indian squad. Indian footballers will get more options to prove themselves on a big platform. The up-and-coming players will also get more motivation for performing well,” Debjit Majumder said.

Nowadays, many good young foreign players like Bright Enobakhare, Hugo Boumous, and Scott Neville are joining the ISL clubs. Therefore, quality of football is increasing gradually. Adjusting with them makes Indian players sharper. Our players are getting more confident. This will help Indian football directly. Infrastructure in the league has always been great since the early years. Rather, it gets better every year.”

On deciding to join Chennaiyin FC:

I heard a lot of positive things from some of my teammates like Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh. About their good management, ambience, supporters and fanbase. I was impressed. That’s why I decided to join Chennaiyin FC.”

On Chennaiyin FC having to bounce back from a difficult season:

“I have always faced a lot of challenges. Playing for Kolkata giants ATK FC and Mumbai City FC have always been a huge challenge. So, I am not worried about challenges to come. No team can have same momentum in every season.

“There are ups and downs. We have a good team with good management and I have heard about the positive ambience of the club. Our supporters are also very cooperative and inspiring. So, I don’t see any reason why we can’t go for the third title this season. This club plays for the trophy and my goal also is to bring the trophy. That’s why I have chosen the Chennai-based club.”

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