Cricket stars among team owners in new India football league

NEW DELHI, April 13, 2014 (AFP) – Cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid are among the owners of teams in a new India football league set to start this year, organisers said Sunday. The Indian Super League, featuring foreign and Indian talent in teams based in eight cities, is due to start nationwide in mid-September and run until the end of November.

Organised by the All India Football Federation, the league is being backed by India’s Reliance Industries, which is controlled by the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, and by sports management giant IMG.

Former international stars such as Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Hernan Crespo, Fredrik Ljungberg, Dwight Yorke and Louis Saha are among those who have reportedly signed up to play in the league.

Tendulkar, who retired last year as the world’s leading batsman in both Test and one-day cricket, has joined hands with Hyderabad-based investor Prasad Potluri to co-own the Kochi city franchise.

“I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation,” Tendulkar said in a statement.

“The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for y