Former managing director of sports and celebrity management company, IMG, Balu Nayar along with Indev Logistics Pvt Ltd, has launched a new sports league, Premier Futsal.
The logistics firm is also the largest investor in the sports tourney, while Nayar is one of the stakeholders.
“Given the fast-paced all-action nature of the sport and its short duration, we are confident that Premier Futsal will capture the imagination of TV audience as well as fans in stadia,” said Xavier Britto, chairman, Premier Futsal and chairman and MD, Indev Logistics.
The new league has been launched under the company, Premier Futsal Management Pvt Ltd.
Nayar, who has been responsible of designing the Indian Premier League (IPL), said while the new league does draw its inspiration from IPL, the sports tourney is different from regular soccer leagues such as the Indian Super League (ISL).
A variant of football, Futsal is played in a small ground or indoors, between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Futsal is played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football.
The league will be governed by Futsal Association of India (FAI) with accreditation from the international governing body, Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF).
The franchise-based league will have eight teams from Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad and Goa. The firm is yet to find the eighth franchisee, the process for which will begin soon, according to Nayar.
The tourney will be held in eight cities from July 15 to 24, 2016, according to Nayar.
As per the model designed by the company, Premier Futsal will feature 56 Futsal players from across the world. Each team will comprise three international Futsal players, one international soccer player and one Indian Futsal player.
Premier Futsal, in association with FAI, will launch a talent hunt across eight cities to spot local players. Of 2,500 participants, five players will be shortlisted for each team.
Nayar, however, did not divulge the investment details.
In recent years, in addition to IPL and ISL, the Indian sports industry has seen the launch of many professional leagues, including Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).