In what will come as heartening news for supporters of the Indian Super League (ISL), a brainchild of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and their marketing partners IMG-Reliance, former Premier League players William Gallas and Adrian Mutu have been cleared to play in tournament and are available for selection as marquee players for the competing clubs.
Two time Premier League winner Gallas, 36, who turned for the London trio of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, now plies his trade at Perth Glory FC in Australia. Mutu on the other hand, another ex-Chelsea and Fiorentina striker, plays for Romanian side Petrolul Ploiești.
The ISL is gaining a fair bit of attention from overseas players who are close to hanging up their boots and franchises are lining up to hand them a big, final payday. The ISL’s player committee, which decides on the player influx and status, have been very interested by the names put forth by the franchises as marquee.
“Several agents of famous footballers have been contacting us. They keep mailing their bio-datas,” elucidated an official, associated to the Goan ISL franchise, to the Times Of India.
The committee keep a strict tab on the foreign players who are suggested for recruitment as marquees, with them going as far as to reject moves for certain players who they see unfit to fill the quota, Robbie Fowler’s rejection being a prominent example. However, Gallas and Mutu have been cleared for participating on the behalf of two franchises as their marquees.
The remaining clubs now have a few hours to complete their marquee signings, on their own, or have to wait until the ISL furnishes a list of marquee players for clubs to draft from.