IPL-style football tourney deferred to later part of next year
New Delhi: The organisers of the much-anticipated IPL-style football league Sunday decided to defer the proposed tournament to September-November next year instead of early 2014.
"All India Football Federation, its commercial partner IMG-Reliance and Star India held a meeting to discuss and evaluate scheduling of the Indian football properties, including I-League and the proposed Indian Super League," a joint release said Sunday.
"Keeping in view of the various key factors, including scheduling conflicts with the I-League and non-availability of stadium in Goa due to delay in Lusofonia Games — the committee has unanimously decided to launch the Indian Super League on a permanent window of September to November starting from year 2014," it said.
The tournament was earlier scheduled to be inaugurated in Mumbai on January 18 and IMG-Reliance had already roped in international stars like Louis Saha, Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg, Hernan Crespo and Robert Pires as marquee players.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, 1998 World Cup winner France international Marcel Desailly and Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish have also been signed for the role of managers.
IMG-Reliance had entered into a multi-million dollar deal with Star India to become equity partners in a joint venture for the next 10 years to run the league. Star India, in which media baron Rupert Murdoch has a majority stake, reportedly has a one-third stake in the JV and has acquired broadcast and sponsorship rights for the league.
"The launch of Indian Super League has generated an overwhelming response not only in India but also in the overseas market over the last two weeks. Many proposed League partners and stakeholders have reached out to the organising committee with the above suggestions. These suggestions have been taken into consideration while allocating the permanent calendar for Indian Super League," the organisers said.