Indian Football Officials Meet To Discuss New Franchise-Based Competition
Owners of India's leading football clubs "are expected to meet national football administrators next week to discuss a new franchise-based competition that could overshadow the existing I-League," according to the AP. The All India Football Federation, which runs the I-League, "is considering plans for a franchised version that would be played in parallel with the current league." Next week's meeting with clubs "is an opportunity to set out how this would be done." Pune FC Owner Nandan Piramal said, "We'd like to know how such a league will benefit Indian football and the I-League clubs." Piramal said that any new competition or format "would require negotiations between club owners, the AIFF and sponsors IMG-Reliance," which signed a $140M deal in '10 for the game's national marketing rights. Plans for a similar franchise-based league that was to feature the likes of former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo and Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro "failed to materialise earlier this year" (AP, 7/24).