MUMBAI: When a sport needs to be grown, money needs to be spent. And in keeping with this, Hero MotoCorp Indian Super League (ISL) saw close to Rs 16 crore being spent on international players who were a part of the draft and were picked by eight teams in seven rounds.
Each team was given the first slot to pick their players as the rounds progressed. The football league will be played from 12 October 2014 to 20 December 2014.
Team Goa proved to be the most generous as it spent Rs 2.46 crore on seven players. Team Chennai (which is the new team introduced in the ISL after Team Bengaluru backed out) shelled Rs 2.34 crore on its seven players. Next in line was Atletico de Kolkata that selected six players for Rs 2.17 crore. Team Mumbai FC picked seven players for Rs 2.10 crore. Kerala Blasters decided to spend Rs 1.98 crore on its seven international players. Pune FC bagged five players for Rs 1.75 crore. Tying at the last spot were teams Delhi Dynamos and North East United that spent Rs 1.62 crore each on their respective five players.
IMG Global football vice president Andy Knee said, “The teams are very happy with the international players they have picked up. We are quite satisfied with the quality of football we have introduced here in India.”
A total of 56 international players, 49 from today’s draft and seven being contracted by the clubs directly, were drafted among the eight ISL clubs. Earlier, in July 2014 the clubs had selected 112 Indian players to complete the domestic players’ mandate. “The 49 players who went into the draft today have had close to 9000 games in between them,” added Knee. “It only speaks about the experience and the competition they will bring into the Hero Indian Super League,” he maintained.
All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das said, “Indian football needs a new dose of adrenaline. We are extremely excited and hope the Indian Super League will provide the dose of much-needed visibility to Indian football. The focus at present is on youth development and grassroots which forms the base of the pyramid. But at the same time, the dose of commerce stays quintessential at the top of the pyramid. Both are interlinked to each other,” he stated. “We hope ISL will be the game changer for Indian football,” added Das.
For Football Sports Development CEO Anupam Dutta, the international player draft has marked an important milestone in the Indian football. “A league’s success depends on the clubs and we are happy to have equally excited and committed partners in this journey. And against the backdrop of the international player draft, let’s not forget that we have a very good set of Indian players in the league as well,” he opined.
Star Sports business head Nitin Kukreja commented, “We plan to unleash a sporting revolution in India. It’s not just cricket, we plan to take football, kabaddi and other sports to greater heights too in India.”
Following are the names of the different teams along with their compositions:
FC Pune City - Bruno Cirillo, Emanuele Belardi, Ivan Bolado Palacios, Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, Omar Andres Rodriguez Martinez, Andres Felipe Gonzalez Ramirez, Park Kwang-IL.
Atletico de Kolkata - Borja Fernandes, Jofre Mateu Gonzalez, Jose Miguel Gonzalez Rey, Arnal Llibert Conde Carbo, Sylvain Monsoreau, Jakub Podaný, Apoula Edima Edel Bete.
Kerala Blasters - Michael Chopra, Iain Hume, Victor Herrero Forcada, Erwin Spitzner, Pedro Adriano Veloso Gusm?o, Cedric Hengbart, Raphael Romey.
Mumbai City FC - Diego Fernando, Jan Stohanzl, Francisco Javier Fernandez Luque, Pavel CmovS, Johann Letzelter, Andre Matos Dias Pereira, Ilias Pollalis.
North East United - Isaac Chansa, Cornell Glen, Massamba Lo Sambou, Do Dong-Hyun, Guilherme Felipe de Castro, TomaS Josl, Luis Alfredo Yanes Padilla.
Team Chennai - Bernard Mendy, Cristian Hidalgo Gonzalez, Gennaro Bracigliano, Bojan Djordjic, Bruno Augusto Pelissari de Lima, Jairo Andres Suarez Carvajal, Eduardo Silva Lerma.
Team Goa - Miroslav SlepiCka. Jan Seda, Bruno Filipe Tavares Pinheiro, Youness Bengelloun, Miguel Bruno Pereira Herlein, Gregory Arnolin, Edgar Carvalho Figueira Marcelino.
Delhi Dynamos - Mads Junker, Morten Skoubo, Bruno Herrero Arias, Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos, Marek Cech, Pavel EliaS, Henrique Dinis Oliveira Dias.