ISL will gain from promoters' Brazilian foray

Corteges of the ISL's promoters are visiting the World Cup venues to learn what makes the tournament tick, besides scouting for team staff...

As the Ambani’s prepare to witness the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, their trip to the South American giants takes on an even greater impetuous, as the Indian Super League (ISL), which is a tournament backed by the IMG-Reliance partnership, could benefit from the basic understanding the infrastructure and administration improvements that govern the success of a tournament of any size and stature.

Most of the eight participant teams in the inaugural ISL have already sent representatives to the Seleccao obsessed nation to scout for players, managers, coaching staff and the like as the core constituents for their respective teams take shape.

As Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of Videocon, explains to The Economic Times, “It is the place to be right now, to learn.”

"They will check on which foreign players are available within the team's budget and where our Indian players can be sent for training," revealed Dhoot, on his three-man contingent, who are to churn out a feasibility report on the experiment once they talk to sports agencies and understand how the business of football is run in the country.

Dhoot himself will visit the Amazonian country, to not only catch a few matches live but also to meet with respected Brazilian authorities to grind out a mutually beneficial agreement.

"It's a huge multi-layered responsibility," opined Larsing Ming, who is also amongst the coterie headed for Brazil, to seek out clubs willing to exchange players for both his I-League club, Shillong Lajong, as well as his ISL venture, North Eastern United, whom he owns in partnership with John Abraham.

"Having been in the footballing ecosystem for a long time, we have an international network of people who are already there in Brazil scouting for us," explained Ming, who is well acquainted with the logistics of operation of a team.

Bimal Parekh, co-owner of the Mumbai franchise alongside Ranbir Kapoor, elucidates that they are sending a duo to talk to retired players who they “might be able to afford”, besides holding parlance with managers of players themselves to discuss the commercial and monetary viabilities.

"The quality of support staff here in India is not the best, not international level. For taking our football higher, we will have to get foreign support. But cost is a constraint," reveals Dhoot.

Prasad Potluri, managing director of PVP Ventures, enunciated, “A contingent has been sent to "relish the quality of the game and to witness the game at the highest level. They will do what the Americans call 'scouting.'"  The group will understand the networking aspects of the business sides besides upcoming talents.

With India languishing on 154th in the newly released FIFA world rankings, an Indian football aficionado will hope the investments of these businessmen, in terms of promotion as well as team formation, will do good for the languid state of football in the country.