Sunil Chhetri feels the need for relegation and opines that pressure during the relegation fight can help teams and players improve better.
In a recent interview with 420 grams on News Click’s Youtube channel, Sunil Chhetri was opined about the pressure that players and teams face. A lot of boys due to the format of the Indian Super League (no relegation) haven’t faced that pressure which probably you (Chhetri) or older players have faced. Thus, in a match like that against Bangladesh at Salt Lake stadium when suddenly lands an 80-90K crowd that the pressure gets to you. Do you sense that is there in the team?
Sunil Chhetri was on point towards the support for relegation and here is what he told:
“I have won many trophies and I have fought relegation many times. The pressure is unbelievable when you fight for it. So the fact that there is no relegation a big chunk of pressure is not there. So the moment a team feels that they are not gonna make it to the top 4 they are relaxed. That’s the reason I want it to come as soon as possible. So the moment a team thinks they are not in the top 4, a B team will enter, junior boys will play, they are not the same and it kills you. So I think that is there.”
On the Bangladesh game and the pressure faced the captain talked of the gameplay on the pitch and also compared the relegation pressure in the top leagues such as the Premier League and the La Liga. Here is what the captain told :
“Against Bangladesh, we were proper poor just because we couldn’t open them. But as you talked about the pressure, that pressure not being there in ISL, is it affecting? I don’t know. But that pressure not there is definitely a reason because we have faced that. You see the pressure at the bottom in Premier League or La Liga is more fierce than that at the top of the league. So having relegation will definitely help and I want it to come as soon as possible” concluded Chhetri
We as fans of this beautiful game would also like to see relegation and promotion coming soon. According to the roadmap agreed between the AFC and the AIFF this looks set to be implemented from the 2024-25 season.
This will help to create a good league structure and would also benefit the teams in the lower leagues. From revenue benefits to fan engagements, this will be an overall benefit for the leagues as well as the teams who are promoted. Relegation fight would help the teams prepare mentally by helping them to cope up with the pressure of staying in the top division. This will help the players during the national team matches especially against the tough opponents as well as the tournaments and qualifying rounds.