Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Founder Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani has expressed a desire to see Middle East host Indian Super League (ISL) matches in the future.
The AFC Football Federation had earlier come to an agreement which would see the ISL replace the I-League as the country's top competition from the 2019-20 season. FIFA, the world governing body, see's the Indian subcontinent as a potential major growth market for the sport and Ambani believes that ISL has helped present the country opportunities to attract investors from abroad.
Ambani wants to help accelerate the growth of the ISL, claiming there is the potential to host the games overseas in the future.
#NewsAlert – Since the inception of ISL (Indian Super League), the Indian national team’s FIFA ranking has shot up from 173 to 96: Reliance Foundation (@ril_foundation) Chairperson Nita Ambani. pic.twitter.com/7TzuHvDI1m— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 8, 2019
"I do want to take it (the ISL) abroad, at least play one or two football games in the Middle East, in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and then see how we can expand. We are a young league, just five years into the business, and we're looking forward to taking Indian football to the world. However, at this moment, my focus is to encourage and promote sports in India," she said as quoted by News 18.
"We have had technical tie-ups so far, but I really hope that I can get some of the great football teams from around the world to come and experience the India opportunity and partner with Indian teams. I'd love to have the English Premier League teams come and invest in India."
Under the new agreement, the champions of the ISL will now represent India in the AFC Champions League, Asia's top clubs competition, via the play-off round.