Chennai, July 12 (IANS) Football legends Ryan Giggs of England, Ronaldinho of Brazil and Hernan Crespo of Argentina will be playing in the inaugural edition of the Premier Futsal scheduled to start on July 15.
The world’s first multi-national futsal tournament will kick-start its inaugural edition at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on July 15.
The first edition of the league will see six franchises divided into two groups to battle it out over eight match days and 13 matches to make it to the final, which will be played in Goa on July 24.
The unveiling of Manchester United legend Giggs, Ronaldinho — the 2002 World Cup winner and two-time World Footballer of the Year, and the former Argentine forward Hernan Crespo completed the signing of their six marquee players.
Premier Futsal has previously announced Manchester United’s midfield icon Paul Scholes and former Real Madrid star Michel Salgado as their other signings.
With former Portugal international Deco having to drop out last minute because of injury, the Pele of Futsal, Falcao will replace him as the sixth marquee player for the league.
The Mumbai franchise has been picked up by the renowned car designer Dilip Chhabria, whereas the Goa and Kochi franchises have been bought by Viiking Ventures Pvt. Ltd. and Dubai-based Yes Events Management respectively. Premier Futsal recently announced Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar as the owner of the Bengaluru 5’s franchise. The Kolkata franchise was bought by Bengali superstar Jeet, while Janani Ramesh of the Hindu Group, was the first to pick a team in its debut season.
Speaking at the event, Premier Futsal co-founder Nithyashree Subban said, “Amidst all the false allegations and attempts to tarnish the image of Premier Futsal, we are proud to kick-start our inaugural edition as scheduled on July 15 here in Chennai. It was a strategic decision to host the league in just two cities; Chennai and Goa, and with six franchises.”
“We have managed to secure signatures of players who are the legends of the game and will be seen playing in India in a few days. As Premier Futsal Management, we are committed to growing Futsal here in India and we will expand the league to other cities in the future editions.”
The teams which were announced on Tuesday, have been picked by an independent committee comprising of International Futsal experts with a view to making the teams balanced and the league competitive.
For the next season, all the futsallers will go back into the bidding pool and the owners will have to pick their team through a bidding process. The marquee players which have allotted will remain with the six franchises for the next season as well.
Premier Futsal also concluded ‘Launchpad’, a talent hunt program which was conducted in eight cities to scout for Indian futsal players. The shortlisted Indian futsallers were hosted a boot camp in Chennai and five players from each of the franchise markets were announced today.
Each of these 5 players have been drawn into the teams of their respective cities and will get a chance to play alongside the current best futsal players in the world and the marquee football players.