Meanwhile, the Indian Government and AIFF is still reluctant to allow the PIO(Person of Indian Origin) Football players, plying their trade in European countries, a chance to play for India. The authorities stand moot on their decision to give the PIO players an Indian Citizenship despite the continuous interest shown by the players to representing India on an international level.
European nations such as France and Germany themselves have been benefitting from their flexible laws of citizenships by allowing players born outside of their nation or raised up to represent them at the big stage.
The US was nowhere to be seen on Football stage before the 90s. The most popular sports there was and is Football (American), Baseball and Basketball. But they understood the importance of providing citizenships to talented players of US origin or playing in the US at an early stage and developed a system so that both the homegrown talents and outside talent could work together for the betterment of US football (or Soccer as they prefer to call it).
It is time for the Indian Government to understand that if you can’t arrange football matches with the top ranking nations to improve Indian football quality, you need to bring the PIO players playing in top ranking nations to play for India and help improve the local talent with their experiences while improving the image of Indian football on the global map.
Here is a list of top Indian talents we are missing out because of the strict citizenship rules:
1. Luciano Narsingh (Netherlands, Ajax FC, PSV Eindhoven)
2. Yan Dhanda (West Brom, Liverpool)
3. Dylal Lall (England-U16, Brighton and Hove Albion)
4. Joshua Pinadath (Barcelona La Masia, Real Madrid)
5. Harmeet Singh (Valerenga)
6. Neil Taylor (Manchester City, Swansea)