Breaking News

Hrithik Roshan joins FC Pune City as co-owner

PUNE: Indian football is making headlines thanks to the country’s cricket and Bollywood celebrities. Hrithik Roshan is the latest to join the Indian Super League bandwagon after he took up part ownership of FC Pune City. The Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned Pune franchise announced its association with the star in Mumbai on Thursday.
Announcing his partnership, Hrithik said, “I am honoured to be associated with the Indian Super League, which represents India’s first effort at professional football. It is definitely the next big sporting brand in our country and will give young football talent a solid platform.
“I hope my partnership with FC Pune City adds further strength to the team and star players’ football expertise.”
Earlier this week, Indian skipper MS Dhoni joined the Chennai team. Having grown from the ranks, Dhoni has stressed on development and not making the ISL as a business venture.
India are currently 158 in the FIFA rankings. The national team failed to cross the group stage in the Asian Games in Incheon last month. India’s Dutch coach Wim Koevermans has also quit.
The eight teams that will feature in the ISL, conceptualised after the super-hit T20 cricket tournament IPL, have former international stars like Del Piero, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezequet as marquee players. Former Brazilian World Cupper and coach Zico is associated with the Goa team.
The ISL is not short in glamour. But whether it will change the face of Indian football remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Bollywood star Salman Khan has denied reports that he was investing in ISL team FC Pune City. Salman said on twitter that he had business interests that conflicted with sponsors associated with football. But the actor said he would work hard to support Nita Ambani’s “vision in the football grassroots program”.
“I do not own any ISL team. My friends Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan had asked me to be their partner in FC Pune City,” he said in of his tweets.
He further wrote that due to his endorsement contracts with Suzuki and Thums Up, which conflict with the League sponsors, he couldn’t be associated with FC Pune City.
“I wish ISL all success. By creating ISL, IMG-Reliance and Star have put in place an important building block to put Indian football on the global football map.
“I endorse Nita Ambani’s vision in the football grassroots program and will work wholeheartedly in supporting it. The football grassroots program will shape the next generation of Indian footballers,” he wrote.

Check Also

Djokovic feels criticism has made him subject to a ‘witch hunt’

PTI Belgrade Novak Djokovic has accused critics of subjecting him to a “witch-hunt” after his …