Following the tradition of the colourful and star studded opening ceremonies that most Indian Domestic championships have, the 3rd edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) started on Saturday. Countless passionate ardent fans of ISL gathered at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium to witness the magic of the Bollywood and sporting stars.
The event was a huge success with stars from varying domains participating in a half an hour long event. The stadium was jam packed with spectators.
The atmosphere was nothing less than a carnival. On show was the cultural diversity that the eight participating team show. The event led to the NE United taking on the Kerala Blasters in the first match of the season.
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Along with the cultural part, Bollywood celebrities showed the audience some of their best steps. The Bollywood music took everyone into a festive mood. All the owners were called on to the stage on at a time. The show was a small one, but stars like Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandes and Varun Dhawan made it BIG. The Shillong Chamber Choir injected the much loved local flavour.
The selfie fever caught up soon. Alia, Jacqueline and Varun took selfies with everyone so as to say; ISL founding chairperson, Ms Nita Ambani, the great Sachin, the latest star PV Sindhu, along with Ranbir, John, Abhishek and the man of the day, MS Dhoni. The matches are to be played across eight cities and they span across 11 weeks.
Nita praised the contribution of North East to football, “Northeast has been the epicentre for sports in India and it’s always a pleasure to be here. Northeast has produced great sports personalities like MC Mary Kom, Bhaichung Bhutia and now the latest sensation Dipa Karmakar,” she said.
Further she added, “I am pleased to inform that the ISL grassroots initiative reached 1.3 million children over the last two years. It’s a significant progress and we are committed to continue investing in India’s grasstoots football development”.