New Delhi: Delhi businessman Sameer Manchanda, who Sunday bought the Delhi franchise of Indian Super League (ISL), said the much awaited eight-city league was the missing link in Indian football.
Manchanda's DEN Network, a cable network company, bagged the sole rights for Delhi by reportedly paying around Rs.12-15 crore per year for a period of 10 years.
Manchanda, a qualified chartered accountant, concurred with claims by ISL promoters IMG-Reliance that the eight-city league aims to glamourise the sport in the country.
“Soccer runs in the blood of every Indian and is part of our sporting DNA. We see this in the millions of loyal and passionate viewers of the FIFA World Cup, the EPL and Champions League. The missing piece was a strong Indian league and ecosystem of state-of-the-art grounds and academies which the youth and soccer lovers could relate to,” said Manchanda, who helped set up Global Broadcast News Ltd (now IBN18 Broadcast Ltd) in 2005.
“The Indian Super League is the beginning of a movement that will revolutionise Indian soccer and uncover the true potential of the sport in our county. It will be a dream come true when India plays in the FIFA World Cup finals,” said Manchanda, who launched DEN in 2007.
“DEN Networks is proud to be associated with IMG Reliance and Star India in making the Indian soccer dream a reality. DEN's roots in Delhi make it the ideal home to spearhead the city's aspirations to become the champions of Indian soccer,” he said.