Mumbai: A total of 41 Indian players have been rewarded with retention contracts by their respective Hero Indian Super League franchises, while 23 players have been signed from open market ahead of the second edition of the tournament.
Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters FC have exercised the maximum allowed retention clause by retaining six Indian players each from their previous squad, while Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC have retained five each, Atletico de Kolkata have four players retained and Mumbai City FC have opted for three.
Each franchise is allowed to have a squad of 22, comprising 13 Indian and nine international players including one marquee. Additionally, a franchise can sign three more players from the open market which can include maximum of two international players.
Football Sports Development Limited -- the promoting body with a joint venture between IMG, Reliance Industries and Star India -- in its Governing Council meeting in March had announced a retention quota of minimum of one and maximum six Indian players, thus encouraging franchises to reward their best domestic players with retention contracts and continuity with the club.
Interestingly, FC Goa has already registered 11 out of the 13 Indian players' quota in the squad with five signings from open market apart from the six retained from the inaugural year of ISL. As of date, Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters FC each have nine Indian players on their roster, followed by Chennaiyin FC with eight, Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and NorthEast United with seven each, and Mumbai City FC having six domestic players.
Indian player signings will be completed in July through an auction followed by draft of unsigned players. The list for auction as well as draft will also include the names of players who missed out on the first season.