New Delhi: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa on Sunday hoped that the franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL) will help in popularising football in the country.
Al Khalifa also congratulated All India Football Federation president Praful Patel on the launch of ISL.
The AFC president conveyed his best wishes for the tournament in the letter sent to Patel.
"I would like to congratulate you on the launch of the new league. I am confident that this eight-team competition with a total of 61 matches will increase the popularity of the sport in India and will create a strong fan base for Indian domestic football," the AFC chief wrote in the letter.
Al Khalifa expected the clubs to help bolster the national football team by nurturing talent and providing them opportunity to showcase their potential.
"The knowledge and experience gained from this competition will also help the clubs in raising their profile and will strengthen the national team in future. I would like to wish all the eight teams the very best and wishing you all the success for this new venture," he said.
The ISL kicks off on Sunday with hosts Atletico de Kolkata taking on Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.