The much-anticipated Premier League Soccer (PLS) will kick off in the state on March 24 with the final scheduled to be held on May 6, paving the way for a collision with the Indian Premier League.
The likes of Fabio Cannavaro and Hernan Crespo along with some of the world's renowned coaches would arrive in the city early next month as the pre-season training would begin on March 3.
Spanning 35 matches, including five knockouts, the IPL- style football tournament featuring international stars, would have a total prize purse of INR 1.5 crore, with INR 50 lakh for the winners, the Indian Football Association, organisers of the tournament, said today.
Meanwhile, Grey Mind Communications bought the Haldia franchise with Argentine 2006 World Cup captain Juan Pablo Sorin as their icon player, while John Barnes will be their coach.
On the sidelines of a meeting with the six franchises of the first edition of the tournament, IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli said the next phase of the auction for the Indian players would be held on February 12 with their base prices in the range of INR 2-3 lakh.
"We have discussed the turf and facilities for the tournament and the venues would be ready early next month as the pre-season training would begin," Ganguli told reporters.
"We have already received the inspection reports for the venues and the facilities available. The work would begin soon to make the facilities in line with the FIFA guidelines," he said.
Ganguli further said the standard of refereeing would be a prime concern and they were contemplating a mixture of international and local referees for the tournament.
The tournament would have 30 league matches and five semifinals (home and away basis) before the summit clash.
As per the rule, the six new teams would get affiliated with the IFA by attaching themselves with the already existing clubs.
In the first edition, PLS will have six franchises -- Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Durgapur, Midnapore and Haldia -- with one icon player, one icon coach, two overseas players and one overseas player of Asian origin for which the auction was held on Monday.
The rest in the squad will be Indians with six U-21, six 'catchment' (local) players and nine to 14 top Indian players.
Kolkata Camelians (team Kolkata); Barasat Euro Musketeers (team Barasat); Durgapur Vox Champions (team Durgapur); Howrah Manchester (team Howrah) and Bengal Tuskers (team Siliguri). Team Haldia's name yet to be decided.