Nita Ambani, founding chairperson of Football Sports Development (FSD) which owns ISL, thanked team owners for coming forward and supporting the sport. “As a teacher I have learned all about football from my kids and students. Last year when we went to Uttarakhand for Reliance Foundation relief work, I asked the kids what do you want. They told me 'ma'am please give us boots and footballs'. That is the passion for the game in the country,” said Nita.
“It is a momentous day for us as we set ourselves in building a grand coalition among all stakeholders to develop football in the country and take it to deserving space in Indian sports.” Dhawan, who is the brand ambassador of FC Goa, which is co-owned by Videocon Group and I-League side Dempo, said his team will play an attacking brand of football.
“Who doesn't like Goa. You will be a fool not to like Goa. We have the two giants of Indian football in Goa -- Dempo and Salgaocar. Goa will be playing an attacking brand of football. Watch out for us,” said Dhawan.
John, who is the co-owner of NorthEast United FC, said his club would boost the sport in the north eastern states, which is now a nursery for Indian football. “I played A division football. I wished I had continued. But I had to chose between football and studies. The north east is now the hotbed for football. But unfortunately north east is not connected with other parts of India. But NorthEast United FC will connect the north eastern states with rest of India,” said John.