Legendary former Indian striker IM Vijayan has backed the Hero Indian Super League’s (ISL) new weekend-centric calendar, suggesting that it will be beneficial for the players as well as the fan.

The Hero ISL in the upcoming season will have matches concentrated around the weekend with games happening between Thursday and Sunday. There will be a double-header every Saturday to give fans more reason to cheer.

“Having one or two games at the end of the week is better for the fans and the team. As all the teams are playing in their respective time slots, the fans will get a better opportunity to enjoy well. The excitement among the fans will also increase. The players will also get enough rest,” said Vijayan.

“It is time for India to position itself better progressively in Asian football. A European-style approach to the calendar will benefit Indian football, regional football, and all sectors of the people who depend upon football for their livelihood. It will inspire the young generation who dream of playing football professionally,” added the former striker.

Read: Hero ISL 2022-23 key fixtures, October 2022: A month of rivalries and heavyweight clashes

The former Kerala forward was also happy that players will be able to more games with the new structure for the Hero ISL knockout stages and the Super Cup that will be held after the Hero ISL season.

“I have talked about this before. Players will get more opportunities and time to play. Longer seasons with adequate rest at regular intervals is always better. It can mould a generation of strong football players,” said Vijayan.

“As the number of games increases, the intervals between games should increase proportionately. Otherwise, the chances of injury are high. Increasing the number of games by giving enough rest time is good for all the players,” Vijayan added.

The Hero ISL 2022-23 season will begin on October 7 in Kochi as Kerala Blasters FC host East Bengal FC. The highlight of thew new season apart from a weekend-centric schedule and a longer football season is the return of the fans in the stadium which is set to add a new dimension to the matches.