IMG-Reliance’s IPL-style football league, scheduled from January 14 to March 13 next year, may see the likes of David Beckham, Raul Gonzalez and Thierry Henry playing in India.
IMG senior vice-president (global football) Jefferson Slack is in talks with the stars. Indian internationals Sunil Chhetri, Subrata Paul, Sanju Pradhan and Syed Rahim Nabi have already signed IMG contracts to play in the league. This jeopardises their chances of playing for an I-League club as the IPCA, which met in Mumbai on Wednesday, has refused to loan out players.
Meanwhile, the All-India Football Federation, in its effort to expand the I-League, is looking for support from Queens Park Rangers. According to I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar, QPR has submitted a bid document to run a franchisee club, based out of Chennai, but will only come in from the 2014-15 season.
The proposed franchise (likely to be named Chennai Rangers) will work in close association with the QPR management.