Around 20 corporates have expressed interest in buying teams for the ambitious IPL-style football league whose organisers are conducting the franchises' and players' auctions between October 30 to November 5, according to sources.
The franchise-based tournament, to be jointly organised by AIFF and its commercial partners IMG-Reliance, will be officially launched on October 25.
"You can say that 20 have expressed interest in owning teams," a source close to both IMG-Reliance and AIFF said here today.
"The tournament will officially launch on October 25. And then the clubs' auction will be held first followed by the players' auction between Oct 30 to Nov 5," the source said.
Without going into details, the source added that the launch will have "a few surprises".
There will be a total of 22 players in each team including 10 foreign footballers alongside at least one marquee signing. Also, eight domestic and four local players from the under-23 category will be available at every team's disposal.
Some of the world's top footballers including David Beckham, Raul Gonzalez, Michael Owen and Thierry Henry are doing the rounds to be associated with the eight-team league, scheduled to start from January 18 next year.
Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Delhi and Bangalore will be the eight cities where the franchises would be based, while Guwahati and Hyderabad have been kept in the reserves.
"Negotiations are on and each city will have one franchise."
The four teams that finish on top will go to the semi-final stage, just as it happens in IPL.