Mumbai: Gridiron or American football, as it's popularly known, is set to make an appearance as a serious sport late next year when eight city-based teams would fight for top honours under the newly launched Elite Football League of India (EFLI).

The inaugural season of EFLI, floated by American brand marketing consultant Sunday Zeller, would be held from November 2012 to January 2013 in custom-built stadium in Pune, it was announced at a media conference 0n Friday.

Teams from Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Punjab and Pune would take part in the first season of the league, and a broadcaster has already been brought on board to telecast the event, it was announced.

There would be 56 games with each team taking on every other twice, leading to two play-off games to decide the finalists.

The promoters have conducted orientation programmes for generating interest in the little-followed sport in India and claimed that it has attracted over 4,000 potential players.

American Richard Whelan, its CEO, said that there were great opportunities for the sport to grow in this country.

Olympian judoka Cawas Billimoria, who is the EFLI's technical assistant, was optimistic that the quintessential American game would find takers in the cricket-mad country despite the lukewarm response given to another physical sport rugby.

(Agencies)