THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Hero Indian Super League ushers birth of a footballing nation

Hero Indian Super League launch

Hero Indian Super League launch

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL), the most anxiously awaited football extravaganza in the country, unveiled its’ official emblem in a grand fanfare event in Mumbai today, thus presenting India with its very own first ever, high-profile footballing competition.

As a show of strength behind the Hero Indian Super League, Nita Ambani, Founding Chairperson, Football Sports Development led the eight League Partners to a pledge – committing to the League’s vision in bring a footballing revolution across the country.

Joining her on stage were Sachin Tendulkar (Kerala Blaster FC), Ranbir Kapoor (Team Mumbai), Abhishek Bachchan (Team Chennai), Samir Manchanda (Delhi Dynamos FC), John Abrahim (NorthEast United FC), Kapil Wadhawan (FC Pune City), Varun Dhawan (FC Goa) and Utsav Parekh (Atlético de Kolkata) along with Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India and Praful Patel, President, AIFF.

‘Let’s football’ – the League’s official line is an apt fit to its ambition in connecting with today’s youth and creating interest in millions to play the sport professionally. The emblem with hexagons combined to form a football symbolises collaboration of passion, energy and enthusiasm among its stakeholders. Colours chosen to represent the League convey the values and emotions, with red signifying the energy, passion and action, while blue exudes confidence, trust and responsibility; both seamlessly combining to represent the League’s values.

Speaking on the occasion, Nita Ambani said, “It’s a momentous day for us as we set ourselves in building a grand coalition among all stakeholders to develop football in the country and take it to its deserving space in the Indian sports. ISL hope to act as a foundation in creating an eco-system to nurture talent and make our own national football heroes, through its ambitious grassroots development program.

“It’s a beginning of a long journey and today we have taken baby steps. I am happy to have equally enthusiastic League Partners’, committed to the League’s vision.”

Commenting on the official launch of the league, Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India, said, “Football is much more than a sport. It is an international phenomenon. And yet, India as a country has not joined this global community. Which is why, today marks a historic turning point for the future of football in this country. With the launch of the Hero Indian Super League we take our first steps to join the world community. This I believe is the birth of a footballing nation.

“We plan to attract and nurture the best of Indian talent to play with marquee players selected from 20 countries, spanning 5 continents. What you will experience is a world-class spectacle – in stadia, on television, on your mobile screen and across all digital devices,” further added Gupta

Andy Knee, VP, Football at IMG: “We are delighted to mark the official launch of the Hero Indian Super League. The potential for football in India is truly immense, and the ambition for the League is to spark a revolution for the game in this great country—to encourage tens, even hundreds of millions of Indians to start playing, following and watching the sport.”

“Certainly, the world of football has started to take notice. Since the League first became known, IMG has received expressions of interest and support from players, managers and administrators at the highest levels. The global game wants India as a major footballing power,” further added Knee.

Scheduled for kick off on 12th October 2014, the Hero Indian Super League will see some of the greatest players in action from the world of football.

With the likes of footballing greats David Trezeguet – World Cup Winner, Euro 2000 Winner; David James (MBE) – 3rd on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, Luis Garcia – former Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool player with the F.A. Cup & the Champions League all won; Spaniard Joan Capdevilla – Winner of the Euro in 2008 & The World Cup in 2010; Robert Pires –  Winner of 3 F.A. Cups & 2 Premier League Titles with Arsenal and Freddy Ljundberg – Former Captain of the Swedish National Team having confirmed participation in the Hero Indian Super League, the league will provide an ideal platform for the Indian players to hone their skills and bring it at par with the international talents.