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Guwahati to launch ISL team

Guwahati, May 29: The Guwahati franchise of the Indian Super League will be launched next month.

“Actor John Abraham will be here to unveil the team colours and the franchise’s name in the first week of June. Guwahati will feature in the name of the franchise. The side will comprise nine foreign players, eight national players and four under-23 players, who can be local, along with one player of higher stature or a world cupper,” Assam Football Association (AFA) secretary Ankur Dutta told reporters here today.

Dutta conveyed his regards to Union minister of state (independent charge) Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been given the youth affairs and sports portfolio.

The AFA secretary also sounded optimistic of Guwahati snatching the bid as the venue for the FIFA under-17 World Cup in 2017 under Sonowal’s leadership.

“We are very happy to have Sarbananda Sonowal as the sports minister and would like to convey my best wishes to him. With Guwahati being one of the probable venues for the mega event, the central government has a major role to play. I am very hopeful that Guwahati will be allotted matches,” Dutta, who has been nominated as one of the delegates from the All-India Football Federation to attend the two-day Fifa Congress at Sao Paulo, Brazil, from June 10. He, however, said some loopholes could play spoilsport.

“Practice grounds have been an issue with which the Fifa has not been very happy although the state sports minister is all set for a review of the situation. The low frequency of aircraft to and from the LGBI airport here is also an issue,” Dutta added.