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Indian football looks to cricket model

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has confirmed it is holding talks with IMG over launching a franchise-based competition modelled on cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL), reports SportBusiness. The Press Trust of India reports that AIFF is planning to create a two-month window after the domestic I-League finishes, allowing top Indian players to participate in the league.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said: "Everything is at a discussion stage and nothing has been finalised as of now. But we do plan to hold an IPL-style league."

The AIFF proposal is not the first time that a high-profile league has been proposed for the Indian market. Premier League Soccer, a joint initiative by the Indian Football Association (IFA), the governing body of the game in West Bengal, and Celebrity Management Group was launched to much fanfare only to be postponed in February due to difficulties in securing venues.

Argentina's Hernan Crespo and Italy's FIFA World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro were among the stars confirmed for the tournament, which had been modelled on the IPL and aimed to boost the development of football in India.

The six-team competition was set to commence on March 24 in West Bengal, but its future remains unclear.

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Dave Williams

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