Kolkata: Legendary football players like Fabio Cannavaro, Hernan Crespo and renowned coaches, including Peter Reid, from yesteryears on Monday went for auction for the first edition of the Premier League Soccer (PLS).

In a bid to make the game more attractive at the national level, the Indian Football Association (IFA) last month had launched PLS - which will have Portuguese midfielder Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro aka Maniche, winger Sergio Conceicao and many other world class foreign players turning up alongside Indians beginning mid-February.

PLS will have six franchises, to be chosen for Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Durgapur, Haldia and Siliguri. Each franchise can have four foreign players.

The franchises will also have to adhere to a ceiling regarding their spending through the year. The tournament will be spread over seven weeks where a mix of national, international and local players will play.

The Barasat franchise roped in former Argentine and Chelsea midfielder Hernan Crespo with the highest base price of $840,000. Legendary Italian stopperback Fabio Cannavaro was sold to the Siliguri franchise for $830,000 after attracting maximum bidders. The Siliguri franchise also bought Bolivian Marco Etcheverry for $200,000.

After drawing five bidders former France international Robert Pires went to Howrah franchise for $800,000. The Kolkata franchise brought ex-England and Liverpool star Robie Fowler for $530,000 and also roped in former English football manager Peter Reid as their coach for $200,000.

The Durgapur franchise bought Nigerian Jay Jay Okocha for $550,000 along with Samson Siasia as their coach at $210,000.

(Agencies)