IMG-Reliance on Thursday announced the appointment of Ko-Ichiro Kato, former Head of Competitions, Brazil Office, FIFA 2014 World Cup and FIFA Head of Club World Cups (2005-2010), as Consultant, Tournament Operations for the much-anticipated Indian Super League.
"Japanese national Ko-Ichiro Kato is an able football administrator being associated with FIFA competitions over the last decade in various leadership roles and will bring in his experience and expertise to oversee the Indian Super League operations to ensuring its smooth conduct," tournament organiser IMG-Reliance said in a statement.
This is the second big hiring on the administration side of the league following the appointment of Greg Gillin, a Wembley Stadium expert and Senior Director, National Stadium Singapore Sports Hub, as the pitch consultant.
The main as well as the practice pitch at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi - one of the eight venues for the IPL-style franchise-based league, is presently undergoing makeover as per Gillin's recommendations.
The league will feature eight teams with marquee players from across the world along with India's national stars and club and domestic talents. The bidding for the eight city-based franchises will be held soon. The invitation to tender document has already been floated by IMG-Reliance.
Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Bangalore, Kochi, Goa and Pune have been identified as the nine venues that will be up for bidding.
The league will feature 22 players in each team, with 10 foreign players, including a marquee player. Each franchise will also include eight domestic players and four local players from the catchment area in the under-23 category.