Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Former Eagles Captain To Know Club In New Indian Soccer League
Siasia Listed Among Six Coaches For The Money-Spinning League

Former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, and the team’s immediate past head coach, Samson Siasia, return to big time football as they will today find out the teams they will be playing for and coaching in the lucrative Premier League Soccer in India.

The big money Indian competition is planning to attract glamour and awareness to Indian football to bring it close to cricket in the cricket-mad country.

Okocha, who starred for PSG, Fenerbahce and Bolton in a glittering career before retiring a few years ago, is one of six superstar players who will be auctioned off to six newly-formed teams as marquee players today.

The other superstars are former Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo, ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, former Argentina international Juan Pablo Sorin, former Arsenal midfielder and World Cup winner Robert Pires, former Italy captain and one-time FIFA World Player of the Year Pablo Cannavaro and ex-Portugal idol Fernando Couto.

These players are designated as ‘Icon players’ and each of them will be drafted by the six PLS teams during the auction tomorrow. They are expected to earn up to 600,000 euros each for a few weeks’ work.

Like Okocha, Siasia will also be seriously involved in the inaugural PLS season as he will be one of the head coaches of the six teams. Siasia has kept a low profile since October when he failed to help the Super Eagles qualify for the Nations Cup.

The other coaches are Teitur Thordarson, Marco Etcheverry, Peter Reid, ex-Liverpool and England legend John Barnes and Colin Todd.

Icons, accompanied by a pool of overseas players — mostly from South America and Asia — and a host of Indian national and catchment area players will form 30-member squads each, for six franchises at Kolkata, Siliguri, Barasat, Howrah, Durgapur, and Haldia. Apart from local talent, the rest of the team and its celebrity foreign coaches will be picked through auction.

“We are hopeful of starting the league matches by March. The format will have six franchises carved out from different areas of Bengal,” Mr Bhaswar Goswami, Executive Director, CMG, the organisers of the league, said.

Goswani told Complete Sports that $15m has been raised from franchise rights and the players will know their clubs today.

The six franchise cities are: Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Durgapur, Haldia and Siliguri

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