Indian Super League will kill football in India, says Churchill Brothers CEO Valanka Alemao
Retired Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and former captain Sourav Ganguly are among a host of high-profile winning bidders for franchises in the Indian Super League football tournament.
The recently announced Indian Super League will kill football in the country and is violating International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) rules, the chief executive officer of a top Goan club said on Wednesday. (Read: Tendulkar, Ganguly to own teams in Indian Super League)
Eight franchises for the much-anticipated Indian Super League, which is scheduled to be held in September-November, were unveiled on Sunday. (Also read: Need to teach Sachin how to play football, says Ganguly)
"This league will kill Indian football. It is the most detrimental tournament for the game. There cannot be two leagues in a country which is struggling to qualify for the World Cup," Federation Cup winners Churchill Brothers' CEO Valanka Alemao said. (Read: Indian Super League a good opportunity for youngsters: Sachin Tendulkar)
"Majority of the clubs in the country have opposed this league, except for few like Dempo Sports Club. There is no credibility for this league. It has flouted all FIFA rules," Alemao alleged, adding that the international football body follows the system of promotion and regulation for the clubs.
This league does not have the grass root level programme, which would have encouraged the young generation of footballers, she said.
"India is hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. We should have been talking about building a team rather than having such a league. India should have a 10-year vision to qualify for the World Cup," she said.
"A country like Japan has proved that one can qualify for the World Cup with proper vision," she added.
Noted cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among a host of high-profile winning bidders for franchises in the ISL.
Organised by IMG-Reliance in association with Star India, the league has the backing of All India Football Federation, and is set to see big names as icon players such as former France international Robert Pires and ex-Sweden and Arsenal player Fredrik Ljungberg.