Nita Ambani | Photo: Twitter|@IndSuperLeague
Mumbai: On Friday, the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) football became the first major sports competition to kick off since the Covid-induced lockdown in March, and Nita Ambani, founder chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which operates the league, welcomed its resumption.
The ISL matches are being played in Goa in a bio-bubble, and without spectators. The first match was played between Kerala Blasters FC and ATK Mohun Bagan on Friday.
ISL promises to be more exciting with the addition of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, two of the most successful clubs in Indian football history.
"I am proud to announce that ISL will become the first sporting event of such large scale to be organised in our home country. We are overjoyed to bring the league back into your homes once again and broadcast it in over 80 countries outside of India," says Nita Ambani in a video message for STAR Sports, the official broadcaster of the ISL.
Nita Ambani attributed the resumption of first sporting action in India to the spirit of sport.
"Sports has always been a symbol of hope and inspiration -- a way to connect, reflect, engage and show solidarity. I am thrilled that we are back with yet another exciting season of football for you," she said.
"It has taken a lot of courage, determination, and planning to bring football back into our lives, in these pandemic times. I am sure that the next four months of ISL will fill our lives with joy, excitement, and positivity," she said, reflecting upon the months of preparation gone into bringing ISL live.
The merger of ATK with Mohun Bagan, and the entry of our 11th club, SC East Bengal, has reaffirmed our faith in the ecosystem for Indian football, said Nita Ambani.
"An ecosystem that is already showing results internationally, and has given us our own Indian footballing heroes to look up to, from the likes of Sandesh Jinghan, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal and the promising youngsters like Sumit Rathi, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Narender Gahlot and many more," she said.