Indian Football League Axed
By iSportconnect | January 29, 2013
Plans for a professional football league in India – based on the Indian Premier League cricket tournament – have been scrapped following logistical problems.
The league was originally due to take place in February-March 2012 before being indefinitely postponed. A number of famous players had agreed to take part, treatment including Italy’s World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, order Hernan Crespo, ed Robert Pires and Robie Fowler. The veterans would have played alongside local footballers.
Indian Football Association (IFA) secretary-general Uptal Ganguly, said: “The main reasons for not pursuing the project further were logistics like the unavailability of stadia and the backing out of some of the franchises for commercial reasons. Besides, the timing of the league was not suitable for foreign players.”
This failure does not necessarily mean the league is completely over. Celebrity Management Group (CMG), an event management firm who were involved with the project, are attempting to revive the idea in the future.
CMG executive director, Bhaswar Goswami, said: “We were organising the tournament on behalf of the IFA. After the initial planning, IFA decided not to go ahead with the project. But we are planning another project together, almost on the same lines.’
A 15-year $140 million sponsorship deal between the All Indian Football Federation and IMG-Reliance was struck in 2010, providing encouragement to CMG that there is a market for the league.