The bid winners of the eight franchises of the league, which is scheduled to be held in September-November, was announced in Mumbai by organisers IMG-Reliance after evaluation of the bids by a seven-member panel. (Agencies)
Indian cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were among the host of high-profile winning bidders, which also include Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and John Abraham, for the league that is set to take Indian football by storm.
Legendary footballer and former captain I M Vijayan said that the involvement of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly will lend credence to the ISL and help in taking football forward in the country.
"I am excited and thrilled at the news that Sachin has bagged the Kochi team. He is the greatest sportsperson in the country with millions of fan following. Sourav Ganguly has also won Kolkata. Certainly, their presence will do wonders in the ISL and in Indian football in general," Vijayan said.
"For long, the business houses have been shy to invest in football. But now with the coming of the ISL, some big businessmen have come at least. Money will be poured in Indian football now. It is a wonderful news for football," he said.
"I am glad especially for the domestic players and youngsters. They will rub shoulders with some top players in the world. They will gain in experience. Financially also, they will gain," he added.
Viajayan, also known as the 'Black Panther' in Indian football, said Tendulkar being the owner of the Kochi team will be a great boost in reviving football in Kerala.
"Kerala was a football powerhouse of Indian football some years back but it has declined. Now with the coming of the ISL and Tendulkar on board, I hope football will be revived in Kerala," he said.
The bid winners of the eight franchises of the league, which is scheduled to be held in September-November, was announced in Mumbai by organisers IMG-Reliance after evaluation of the bids by a seven-member panel.