Former England goalkeeper David James who played for and also managed Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters said the duration of the competition was too short to ensure development of the players.

“It is a very complicated situation. Because you cannot put one thing in place and it will solve the problem,” James told Mirror.

“In ISL, one or two teams can play a maximum number of 21 games. The ISL needs to become bigger and link up with the I-League. Because I-League and the teams are already there, so you will get more competitive games per season,” he added.

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“Then your players get exposed to more competitive football per season and through that you will develop a higher skill level. It is wrong to say that players are not good enough, because that sounds like that they would never be good enough. I do not think the players are exposed to the opportunities to improve,” he continued.

James also bemoaned the lack of quality infrastructure in the country and felt it was a hindrance to developing talent.

“Another reason is the lack of facilities. The country is so big that the idea of finding training facilities in any major city is difficult,” he said.

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“When I was going around for away fixtures, I saw every team had one football pitch. Even if you look at the likes of ATK, they have one of those pitches where they are training and that pitch is also used by numerous other teams. Yes, they do have the facilities, but damaged and not conducive. The facilities need to improve,” he added.

James guided the Blasters to the final in his first spell at the club in 2014. He returned midway through the 2017-18 season to spark a mini-revival in Kochi but was sacked the following season after the Blasters struggled to make a mark in the campaign.