Hopes are high for India’s new Premier League Soccer competition. Burdened by organisational failure, however, one wonders if this corporate dream will remain just that.
Sitting 158th in the FIFA world rankings, India has never been one to headline the footballing world. A country which considers cricket to be both a national sport and a religion, football won’t be overtaking the bat and ball anytime soon. However, the north-east region of India is known for being football mad. For example, the Calcutta derby played between Mohan Bagan and East Bengal reaches crowds of 90,000 on a regular basis.
So one can understand, then, why Celebrity Management Group (CMG) signed a 30-year deal with the Indian Football Association to create Premier League Soccer. A competition based in West Bengal consisting of 6 teams, or franchises, all playing each other home and away. These teams are all located within the state of West Bengal in five different towns; Bengal Tuskers Siliguri, Barasat Euro Musketeers, Durgapur Vox Champions, Haldia Heroes, Kolkata Camelians and Manchester Howrah. The top four teams would then enter the semi-finals to determine one sole champion. It aims to play around 35 matches in the space of 7 weeks.