Mumbai: IMG-Reliance, marketing partners of the All India Football Federation, has signed four more domestic players for its proposed IPL-style league early next year, it was learnt on Wednesday.
"Four more players have signed with us, but we cannot disclose their names as yet. We need only four more to complete our target of 64 Indian professionals for the tournament," a source told PTI today.
The January 18-March 30 tournament would feature eight city-based franchise outfits and has got the go-ahead from AIFF on August 2.
The break-up of each team would be eight Indian professionals, 10 foreigners -- including one marquee player, and four Under-23 players from the franchise`s catchment areas, making it a squad of 22.
The marquee player pool would be about 12-15 players.
IMG-Reliance has already signed 36 domestic players and 20 players of AIFF developmental side Pailan Arrows will also be part of the league.
"The international players would be signed up for four months and it would be a mix of players who are free agents, recently retired and those who are coming on transfer or loan," according to the source.
The league has faced opposition from I-League clubs who have refused to either induct any IMG-R signee on loan or loan away any player from their ranks to play in the tournament.
The bidding for the eight franchises to take part in the tournament will be held next month, while the players` auction - including the foreign players - would be held in October.
Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Delhi and Bangalore will be the eight cities where the franchises would be based, while Guwahati and Hyderabad have been kept in the reserves.
All the franchises would be registered as clubs and the corporates who buy the team will be owners for 10 years.
The games would be played like in a normal match, over 90 minutes. The four teams that finish on top, will go to the semi-final stage, just as it happens in IPL.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.