The event will be played on a home-and-away basis on the lines of IPL

Indian Super League is the big leap forward for Indian football, in terms of visibility and fan following. Sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, actors Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and John Abraham will be associated as franchise partners for the September-November 2014 tournament to be played across the nation.

Franchise-based teams will compete in the ISL, promoted by IMG-Reliance and Star India, under the aegis of the All India Football Federation. The football event will be played on a home-and-away basis on the lines of IPL, featuring foreign players, coach and Indian internationals.

The eight cities are: Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bangalore and Kochi.

The city-based partners are Guwahati: John Abraham and Shillong Lajong.

Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Atletico Madrid, Sanjeev Goenka, Utsav Parekh.

Delhi: Sameer Manchanda of Den Network.

Mumbai: Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh.

Pune: Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan of the Wadhawan Group.

Goa: Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon, Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo.

Bangalore: Sun Group.

Kochi: Sachin Tendulkar and PVP Ventures.

According to IMG-R media release, the base price for each franchise is Rs. 120 crore for 10 years and the franchises are expected to invest in infrastructure, grassroots developments, including own football academies.

IMG-R had invited bids for the tournament. Ernst & Young were tasked with validating the documents as per eligibility norms announced in the Invitation to bid document.

The evaluation of bids was done by a jury panel in the presence of Ernst & Young representatives.

Teams will be formed after player auctions, to be announced at a later date. European players, including former internationals and World Cuppers expected to feature in ISL include Robert Pires, Freddie Ljunberg, Michael Owen, according to IMG-R.

Famous names Kenny Daglish, Peter Schmeichel are in the coaches list.

Spanish football club Atletico Madrid, a dominant force in the La Liga, will venture into Indian football as partner in the Kolkata franchise, teaming up with former India cricket captain Ganguly.

Srinivas Dempo-owned Dempo Sports Club and Shillong Lajong compete in the AIFF-conducted I-League. The former is a partner in the Goa franchise of ISL, the latter has won the bid for Guwahati franchise.


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