Plans for a new football league in the Indian state of West Bengal have been jeopardised after organisers were denied permission to seek the transfer of high-profile foreign players.
Argentine legend Hernan Crespo, Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro and Robbie Fowler of England were among six semi-retired world stars due to play in the Premier Soccer League. The teams spent heavily on securing world stars at an auction in Kolkata on January 30, with Crespo going for an annual salary of $840,000 and Cannavaro for $830,000. Robert Pires of France fetched $800,000, Nigerian Jay Jay Okocha got $550,000 and Fowler was sold for $530,000. Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia who is to coach Okocha’s club was signed on for $200,000.
The new league, made up of six teams from towns in West Bengal, was set to start late March.
But the All-India Football Federation suspended the PLS late on Saturday from taking part in FIFA’s Transfer Matching System because the six new teams were not affiliated to the sport’s governing body.