Sachin Tendulkar, Salman Khan among co-owners as Indian football league all set to take shape with team draft

Published: August 20, 2014
Eden Gardens

Sachin Tendulkar. AFP/Getty Images

C. RAHSHEKHAR RAO
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW DELHI — Retired batting great Sachin Tendulkar will lead a clutch of former cricketers and movie stars in promoting the start of the Indian football league.

Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly are among team owners in the Indian Super League, which will have its draft for foreign players in Mumbai on Thursday when 49 big names will be available for eight franchise teams.

Former Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg and ex-Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra, who is of Indian origin, will be among the top names featuring in the draft for the October-December tournament.

The tournament schedule has not yet been announced.

A similar process for Indian players was completed last month and the teams are allowed to contract two international players directly and five each from the draft in their squads of 22.

Tendulkar and Ganguly have been part of promotional events for their franchises Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata, which are based in two of the more football-crazy parts of the country.

Former India football captain I.M. Vijayan feels the likes of Tendulkar are not just cosmetic additions but take keen interest.

“I have had discussions with him (Tendulkar),” Vijayan said ahead of the draft. “I’ve been impressed by his knowledge of soccer, his ideas about the game, and eagerness to know more about it.

Tendulkar is a co-owner along with business group PVP ventures while Ganguly co-owns the Kolkata team as part of a consortium that also includes Spanish league team Atletico Madrid.

Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham are among the other co-owners of teams in Pune, Mumbai and Shillong, respectively.

The tournament, featuring mostly semi-retired stars, might be easier to market in India due to the presence of cricketers and actors, but how will it change the standard of the game in a country which is ranked 150th in the world?

“I can’t say that ISL has come in and it will change Indian football and we are going to qualify for the World Cup,” retired star Bhaichung Bhutia said. “But it definitely is not going to damage Indian football.”

Noted Indian football writer Jaydeep Basu feels the only benefits of the tournament will be getting spectators to the ground and improvement of infrastructure at the eight venues.

“How can you improve the standard of the game with an 11-week league?” Basu said. “People have been working on the game for years around the world and if only money could help improve the game, countries of the middle-east would have been multiple world champions.”

The ISL is being organized by IMG-Reliance, which is also the main sponsor of the All India Football Federation after agreeing a 15-year marketing contract in 2010.

The Super League is an additional tournament after a national I-League tournament run by the AIFF which features several foreign players but no big names.

05:59ET 20-08-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

cricket-terrorism-Belgium

Pakistani cricketer labeled terrorist for carrying bat on public transport, deported from Belgium

VANCOUVER DESI A young Pakistani cricketer and his family have been forced out of Belgium after he was labeled a terrorist for carrying his cricket…
Continue Reading »

Police tape-Abbotsford-crime

Abbotsford police look for suspect in Mill Lake sex assault

VANCOUVER DESI Abbotsford police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman at Mill Lake last week. In a press release, police said…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Police tape-Abbotsford-crime

Abbotsford police look for suspect in Mill Lake sex assault

VANCOUVER DESI Abbotsford police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman at Mill Lake last week. In a press release, police said…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »

patquinn2

Spice Sports: Pat Quinn passes away at age 71

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI The hockey world is deeply saddened by the passing of the legendary Pat Quinn, who spent nearly 50…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Sitara Devi

Kathak star Sitara Devi dies after prolonged illness

IANS Mumbai – Eminent danseuse Sitara Devi, who once impressed Rabindranath Tagore with a three-hour solo recital, died here Tuesday after prolonged illness, leaving behind…
Continue Reading »

monkey main

Killer monkeys invade India after government issues wildlife preservation to protect wild apes

CEN AGENCY A ban on capturing monkeys in India has led to an explosion of ape attacks – some which are deadly – across the…
Continue Reading »

Surrey RCMP were called to ..

Surrey husband charged with murder after wife found dead in Newton home

SURREY NOW and VANCOUVER DESI A Surrey man has been charged with murder after his 64-year-old wife was found dead at their Newton home on…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

desi-sex-bollywood-bhabhi

Venus Williams dances on a Bollywood number in India (w/gallery, video)

CEN AGENCY Former world number one tennis player Venus Williams, 34, took the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream by dancing to a Bollywood number…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan

Arjun Rampal still quiet on his proximity to Hrithik Roshan’s ex-wife Sussanne

HINDUSTAN TIMES In December 2013, Arjun Rampal’s name was dragged into the troubled Hrithik Roshan-Sussanne Khan marriage. Rumours claimed that the actor, a close friend…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Bipasha Basu: Pinkathon important platform encouraging women

IANS Mumbai – Actress Bipasha Basu Tuesday expressed support for Pinkathon, a run for breast cancer awareness, terming it an important platform that encourages women….
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood’s female stars rise in stature and crank out hits, but ask: Where is the money? (w/gallery)

NIRMALA GEORGE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — This is Bollywood’s year of the woman. Some of the biggest hits in India’s prolific movie industry…
Continue Reading »