ISL to be completed by December 7th – Knee

The senior IMG official stated the tournament shall end in the allotted time despite suggestions of it getting postponed…

Andy Knee stated in categorical terms that the window for the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) would be from mid-September to December7th, 2014.

This was after an IMG-Reliance official was quoted saying that the broadcaster, Star wanted to postpone the league as it would clash with cricket's Champions League Twenty20.

“Window is from mid-September to 7th December and that remains the dates. Conversations happen but we are sticking to those dates,” said Knee.

He explained that the franchisees had been informed of the qualities of the foreign players who shall be part of the international player draft.

“We have given a good indication of the players that we are looking at - players who have played in good leagues in Europe and South America. We are looking at the spine of the team – goalkeeper, central midfield and strikers.

“We understand that clubs want all the players on board immediately for their identity. However the reality of the transfer window is that it doesn’t end until August 31. The longer you wait the better players you get in the market.

“ISL perhaps is coming to a country, with all due respect with a not so good football history in recent times. Players sometimes want to see what the market is. The reality is we need to allow ourselves some time to get the best possible players. It is reality which we deal with in year one. In year two, it depends on how successful we were in year one,” explained Knee.

The IMG vice-president for football opined that ISL’s primary objective was to spread the game of football in every town and village.

“Our ambition is to popularize football in the country. If we do, the whole eco-system will benefit - from the grassroots to seniors. No one can say that raw talent in India is any better or worse than anywhere in the world.

“India are ranked 151 in the world and a country of so much talent and ambition should be ranked much higher. Everyone should benefit from ISL."