Indian football is making headlines thanks to the country's cricket and Bollywood celebrities. Hrithik Roshan is the latest to join the Indian Super League bandwagon after he took up part ownership of FC Pune City. The Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned Pune franchise announced its association with the star in Mumbai on Thursday.
Announcing his partnership, Hrithik said, "I am honoured to be associated with the Indian Super League, which represents India's first effort at professional football. It is definitely the next big sporting brand in our country and will give young football talent a solid platform. "I hope my partnership with FC Pune City adds further strength to the team and star players' football expertise."
Earlier this week, Indian skipper MS Dhoni joined the Chennai team. Having grown from the ranks, Dhoni has stressed on development and not making the ISL as a business venture.
India are currently 158 in the FIFA rankings. The national team failed to cross the group stage in the Asian Games in Incheon last month. India's Dutch coach Wim Koevermans has also quit.
The eight teams that will feature in the ISL, conceptualized after the super-hit T20 cricket tournament IPL, have former international stars like Del Piero, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezequet as marquee players. Former Brazilian World Cupper and coach Zico is associated with the Goa team. ('ISL Will Take Indian Football to Next Level')
The ISL is not short in glamour. But whether it will change the face of Indian football remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Bollywood star Salman Khan has denied reports that he was investing in ISL team FC Pune City. Salman said on twitter that he had business interests that conflicted with sponsors associated with football.