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Karnataka State Football Association planning a franchise-based league called KFL

EXPERT COLUMNIST
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1.00K   //    10 Jan 2019, 21:02 IST

NA Haris (second from right), president of the Karnataka State Football Association with KSFA and BDFA governing body members
NA Haris (second from right), president of the Karnataka State Football Association with KSFA and BDFA governing body members

The Karnataka State Football Association will organise a new franchise-based tournament called the Karnataka Football League later this year.

The tournament, inspired by the state's franchise-based cricket competition called the Karnataka Premier League, could be held before or after the Cricket World Cup. The Cricket World Cup will start on May 31 and go on until July 14.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) are already learnt to have given their nod for the tournament.

KSFA president NA Haris confirmed the same to Sportskeeda. "We want to give our players enough competition so that they go on to compete for India. This tournament is aimed at developing the popularity of the game in the state," Haris, the Shantinagar MLA, said.

All matches of the tournament will be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Ashok Nagar, part of Haris' constituency.

Clubs from the state like Bengaluru FC, Ozone FC Bengaluru, South United FC and others have been contacted already to purchase a franchise in the KFL. There could be eight franchises in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

The shortlisted cities include those like Mangaluru, Mysuru, Ballari, Hubballi, Belagavi apart from Bengaluru. There will be two franchises from Bengaluru. One more city will be decided at a later stage.

"It will have a process similar to the ISL with a player draft, a limit on the number of foreign players and a knockout format after the end of the league phase," said a KSFA official.

"We're still finalising the details, deciding on the number of foreigners in a team. Each team will have a marquee player - someone who has played for India - and a marquee coach - someone who has coached top teams in the country.
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"Further information will be available closer to the tournament. But we can assure you that it will be a successful venture which can reshape the local football scene in Bengaluru and Karnataka as a whole."

The officials are also in touch with a couple of broadcast networks like Discovery Sports (DSport) and Star Sports for streaming the games live.

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