ISL: Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) Chairperson and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Nita Ambani, on Saturday expressed delight on delivering an uninterrupted and successful season of Indian Super League (ISL) for football fans in India.
“Season 7 has been a tribute to the real power of sport, the true glory of football,” said Nita Ambani in a video message ahead of the season finale. “In spite of the global pandemic, despite the odds against us, the fear and uncertainty, this season of ISL has brought immense joy, cheer, and celebrations back into our lives.
“I am proud of the fact that we were the first, the longest, and the most successful sports event to be held in India in these times,” added Nita Ambani expressing her pleasure on the completion of a competitive season without the need to reschedule even a single fixture.
Mumbai City FC will take on ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL final at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
“An approximate of 1,600 people including footballers, support staff, club and League management and broadcast crew were housed in the strictest bio-bubble over a period of 6 months with close to 70,000 RT-PCR tests conducted by the League,” she said.
ISL season seven, which kicked off on November 20, 2020, on Saturday achieved a unique distinction of running a full four months of uninterrupted footballing action featuring 11 clubs with an increased number of games from 95 to 115.
The entire season was played out behind closed doors at three stadiums in Goa under the strictest bio-bubble safety protocols.
Speaking on the League’s fan engagement, she said, “We missed our fans dearly in the stadium, but they were with us digitally and in spirit all along the season.
“Thank you to each and every one of you in Goa and for supporting and showing your love for the beautiful game. And thank you for reaffirming our faith that sport truly has the ability to unite, to delight, and to inspire the world.”
On young talents, she said, “I am glad to see so many young boys coming through the ranks in ISL. The likes of Liston Colaco, Akash Mishra, Rahul KP, Asish Rai, Bipin Singh, Jeakson Singh and Apuia have shown the character and determination to make it big. These boys will take young India forward on the global stage.”
Philanthropist Nita Ambani also congratulated Mumbai City FC on winning the League Shield and wished both Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan luck for the ISL final.
“Mumbai City FC becomes the second club from ISL after FC Goa last year, to have earned the prestigious place in the AFC Champions League. No matter who wins the final, for me every club this season is a winner for spreading hope and positivity through sport,” she signed off.