Football to be played the IPL way? Well the answer will be known after the AIFF meeting in New Delhi on June 27. But if IMG and Reliance are given their way, Indian football could see a massive overhaul with the ‘big guns’ of the English and European football parading their skills on Indian soil.
The two AIFF partners have conceived an IPL like league with eight centres and eight teams pitching for honours with a good sprinkle of foreigners donning the team colours.
“It’s four per team in the I-League now,” said A.R. Khaleel, chairman of the I-League.
“But it could be more for the new league planned,” he added.
The IMG-Reliance officials plan to refurbish the existing stadiums in the various centres. Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Kochi could be the centres and each venue is expected to register a team which will play in the league.
“The various details pertaining to the teams and other issues will be sorted out soon,” was all that the IMG officials would divulge at this stage, en route to inspecting the facility at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium as the Football Stadium here will be under renovation for the 2017 Youth World Cup.
“The new league is expected to be held from January 1 to March 31 – when the I-League will have a break,” said Khaleel, who is also the president of the Karnataka State Football Association.
Decision on July 7
“Regarding the Bangalore team being fielded we will discuss and decide at the July 7 AGM,” he added.
With I-League not really giving Indian football the fillip, will another league with a ‘bigger’ brand-label be the solution?
It could well be but it could well do without all the negatives that surfaced in cricket at the end of the last IPL!.