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Sun Group opt out of inaugural Indian Super League

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Sun Group, owners of the Bangalore franchise of Indian Super League (ISL) are set to pull out of the inaugural edition of the football tournament which will kick-start on October 12. The reason behind the fall-out is believed to be irreconcilable differences between the Chennai-based group and the tournament organisers IMG-Reliance. A official announcement is expected within 24 hours.

Earlier this week, the organisers of the tournament have disapproved the partnership between the Kalanithi Maran-controlled Sun Group and JSW Group-owned Bengaluru FC. It can be taken into account that Ananth Nagarajan, Head of Sports for Sun Group, had claimed that their tie-up with JSW Group was important as they, as a group, hadn’t been involved in football previously.

Besides, there were concerns with the Bangalore franchise venue, the Kanteerava Stadium. The stadium turf was declared unfit by pitch consultant Greg Gillin, a Wembley Stadium expert. And the full availability of the stadium was also in doubt with the franchise getting only Sunday slots. Interestingly, the Nehru Stadium in Chennai is the back-up venue booked by the organisers for the 2014 edition of the ISL.

According to reports, the organisers have already opened talks with other interested bidders keeping Chennai as the new base of the franchise. The 14 players that were selected by Sun Group during the domestic players auction for the Bangalore franchise last month will be transferred to the newly-formed franchise.

Other franchises of the eight-team tournament are Atletico de Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, North East United FC, FC Pune City and Team Goa.

With Agency inputs