It's a breather to see Indian sports patrons shift their spotlight from cricket and to other sports!
After Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan expressed his keenness to own a Kolkata based football league a la the IPL style, other industry heavyweights like John Abraham and even Indian skipper MS Dhoni has now volunteered for the same.
Grapevine has it that buddies Dhoni and John may co-buy a franchise in the football league, as proposed by IMG-Reliance, the marketing and commercial partner of AIFF.
"John has already made his expression of interest to invest in the league and also plans to involve Dhoni in the venture," a source revealed.
John recently made a short trip to the league's preparatory camp with former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia recently and said that he would buy a franchise "(only) if he can afford it".
It's believed that John had a word with Dhoni on buying a team. Dhoni, just like John, is an ardent soccer fan. The duo is currently endorsing the game on Indian television.
With as many as eight cities waiting eagerly to be a part of the league, the interest seems to be soaring for soccer now.
Even Indian Premier League's Delhi franchise owners GMR has expressed interest and so is a consortium from Kerala. "The GMR group is open to the idea and would commit after evaluating the proposals," another source said.
Meanwhile, IMG-Reliance is working to make this multi-million dollar league a success like the IPL. The franchise documents are underway and the organizers are figuring the cost price of the franchises.
The league is likely to kick off by January 18, next year. The auction for the teams will start in September. “The tournament will feature 22 players in each team, with 10 foreign players, including a marquee player,” wrote TOI.
(AW: Suchorita Dutta)