ISL 2017: Kochi gears up for grand opening ceremony
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are set to perform in the opening ceremony.
What’s the story?
With the fourth season of the Indian Super League set to kick off later this week, Kochi is gearing up for the grand opening ceremony, to be hosted at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on 17th November, 2017.
The preparation to host the ISL 2017 opening ceremony, in which Bollywood superstars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are set to perform, is in full flow and pictures for the preparation of the same have emerged.
In case you didn’t know…
The fourth edition of the ISL will see 10 teams competing against each other for the elusive title. Up until the third season, only eight teams competed for the title, but this year two more teams, the JSW-owned Bengaluru FC and Tata's Jamshedpur FC, have been added to the league. The winner of the ISL would get an opportunity to play the AFC Cup playoffs.
The heart of the matter
The opening match of any major tournament, especially the cash-rich ones, are usually preceded by an opening ceremony.
Initially, this season’s opening match between ATK and Kerala Blasters were supposed to be held at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, where the defending champions ATK are based. In such a scenario, the opening ceremony would also have been held in Kolkata.
However, after the resounding success of the recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup in Kolkata, it was announced that the final will be held in Kolkata. Consequently, the opening match was shifted to Kochi.
This season, significant changes have been incorporated into the ISL. Instead of matches being played every day over a jam-packed two-month schedule, this time, they will be played three days a week with two being played on Sundays. A total of 95 matches, including matches in the knockout stages, will be played over the course of a four-month period.
It appears from the pictures that Kochi is all geared up to host its first opening ceremony. If the pictures are any indication, it is going to be a blast.