Indian Premier League Side Mumbai Indians Not Bidding For ISL Franchise
Indian Premier League winners Mumbai Indians "made it clear that they were not bidding for the city or any other franchises in the ambitious Indian Super League" football tournament slated to be held later this year, according to the PTI. A release issued stated, "IndiaWin Sports Pvt. Ltd., which owns the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, wishes to state that we have not bid for a franchise in the upcoming Indian Super League." Anticipation around the ISL seemed to be building, with the organizers "receiving positive response from more than 30 interested parties." Promising to revolutionize the sport in the country, "the league has the backing of All India Football Federation," and is likely to see names such as former ManU striker Dwight Yorke, former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo and former England forward Michael Owen. The nine cities in the reckoning "are Bangalore, Chennai, Dehli, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune." Eight cities "will be shortlisted" (PTI, 4/6). In Mumbai, Vivek Ajinkya wrote most optimists are counting on the ISL "to help popularise and boost the business of football in India." India coach Wim Koevermans believes that "it might actually have a detrimental effect on the national team." The scheduling of the already postponed event, "which promises to treat Indian fans to talent from around the world, is the reason behind Koevermans's scepticism." Koevermans: "It might affect the preparations of the national team. We have got to see how it's going to work out" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 4/4).