Cannavaro, Pires, Fowler, Crespo In All New India League

Plans for a new competition aimed at kick-starting football interest in the cricket-obsessed country is afoot, with several big names reportedly coming to ply their trade here
Italian World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro is stepping out of retirement to make a comeback right here in India.

"I'm getting back on the pitch with the Indian Football Association, West Bengal." was what the 38-year old defender tweeted, six months after he retired with a nagging knee injury.

He will be part of a six team competition which will be a joint venture between the Indian Football Association and the Celebrity Management Group (CMG), known for handling these gala events in the past.

Other famous names involved include Englishmen Robbie Fowler and John Barnes, France's Robert Pires, Argentinians Hernan Crespo and Juan Pablo Sorin, Spaniard Fernando Morientes, and Jay Jay Okocha of Nigeria.

From what is heard, there will be the following six franchises: Kolkata, Barasat, Howrah, Haldia, Durgapur and Siliguri. And the rule is that each team must have at least one 'famous' foreign player and a foreign coach.

Peter Reid and Colin Todd, who both have English Premier League experience, are expected to join Barnes amongst the coaches on offer.

The plan is for the competition to run for seven weeks with matches on Wednesdays through Sundays, usually at night.

Television rights are expected to be sold not only in South-east Asia but also Europe and America.