17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#BreakingGround: First British Asian premiership footballer signs for Indian Soccer League

The first British Asian to play top flight football has been picked to play in India's first ever premier football tournament, the Indian Super League (ISL).

Michael Chopra was signed by the Kerala Blasters side, which is co-owned by cricketing great Sachin Tendullkar, during ISL's international draft for the ISL.

A total of 49 foreign players were drafted during the session for the eight-franchise league, which is slated to run from Oct. 12 to Dec. 20.

Seven players have been directly recruited by the teams.

"When the drafts came up, the first name that caught our attention was that of Chopra," former England goalkeeper David James, marquee player and manager of the Kerala team, told reporters.

Chopra, who has also played for a host of other Premier League clubs, was the only English player in the draft, which was held at a Mumbai hotel overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Former Manchester United midfielder Bojan Djordjic has joined other marquee names such as former Juventus striker David Trezeguet and former Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg in the first season of the football league.

Djordjic, now 32, won the young player of the year award at Manchester United in 2000, but only made two appearances for the Premier League club.

He went on to enjoy a successful career, winning league titles with Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, Videoton in Hungary, and AIK in Sweden.

The top four sides in the Indian Super League will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be played over two legs, with the winners advancing to a one-off final.

Strict rules apply to player rosters, with each team required to have one marquee player, seven foreigners and 14 Indians, four of whom must be from the city in which the franchise is based.

The ISL is bank-rolled by Reliance Industries, controlled by the country's richest man Mukesh Ambani, Rupert Murdoch's Star India and sports management group IMG.

Chennai-based Sun Group had bagged the Bangalore team but opted out at the last minute.

Replacing them will be a team from Chennai to be run by Play on Skills, which has a technical collaboration with Inter Milan in India, organisers said.

The Chennai franchise bagged Djordjic and former Paris Saint Germain and Hull City defender Bernard Mendy, one of the highest-paid foreigners in the $80,000 bracket at Thursday's draft.

La Liga veteran Jofre Mateu was picked by the Kolkata franchise, owned by a consortium including Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly.

In spite of the country's large population and surprising popularity of football, India languishes at 150th in the football world rankings.

While the promoters of the new league are confident the ISL will revolutionise soccer in India in much the same way as the similarly named cricket league has done in cricket, not everybody is on board.

Franchises paid about $25 million for a team for 10 years in the ISL, which will also have a fair presence of the country's film industry in the form of actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham as co-owners.

Though the ISL has managed to attract some big-name overseas signings and grabbed eyeballs, opinion remains divided if it can help lift the standard of football in the country which already has an existing national football league (I-League).

"Frankly speaking, the I-League has not delivered. Indian football needed some adrenaline and we are hoping the ISL will help attract people to the game (in India)," Kushal Das, the general secretary of the country's soccer governing body, said.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

 

Related Articles

Photo Gallery- Featured

  • latest Post

  • Most Read

雪茄| 雪茄烟网购/雪茄网购| 雪茄专卖店| 古巴雪茄专卖网| 古巴雪茄价格| 雪茄价格| 雪茄怎么抽| 雪茄哪里买| 雪茄海淘| 古巴雪茄品牌| 推荐一个卖雪茄的网站| 非古雪茄| 陈年雪茄| 限量版雪茄| 高希霸| 帕特加斯d4| 保利华雪茄| 大卫杜夫雪茄| 蒙特雪茄| 好友雪茄

古巴雪茄品牌| 非古雪茄品牌

Addmotor electric bike shop| Electric bikes shop / electric bicycle shop Electric bike review| Electric trike| Fat tire electric bike| Best electric bike| Electric bicycle/E bike| Electric bikes for sale| Folding electric bike| Electric mountain bike

Tomtop| Online shop| Online Einkaufen

Beauties' Secret|

地產代理/物業投資| 租辦公室/租寫字樓| 地產新聞| 甲級寫字樓/頂手| Grade A Office| Commercial Building| Hong Kong Office Rental / Rent Office| Office building| Office for lease / office leasing| Office building| Office relocation Office for sale|

DecorCollection European design furniture| sofa hk| sofas| beds| coffee tables| dining tables| dining chairs| sideboards| furniture hk| Cattelan Italia| Koinor

Wycombe Abbey| private school hong kong| English primary school Hong Kong| primary education| top schools in Hong Kong| best international schools hong kong| best primary schools in hong kong| school day| boarding school Hong Kong| Wycombe Abbey School

邮件营销| 電郵推廣| 邮件群发软件| Email Marketing| 搜尋引擎優化 SEO