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Indian skipper Dhoni becomes co-owner of Chennai’s football franchise

After Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, now the Indian cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shown interest in football. Dhoni today became the co-owner of Chennaiyin FC, one of the eight franchise of Indian Super League (ISL).

The team was originally bid by actor Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani, who belongs to the Asian Paints family, who are the co-owners and Dhoni, who was actually a goal keeper then changed to cricket, has joined them. It may be noted, Dhoni heads the Chennai Super Kings, an IPL team belongs to India Cements.

ISL, the soccer league’s aim is to help India, currently 145th in FIFA’s world rankings, qualify for the 2026 World Cup, the organisers said in October.

Based in Chennai, Chennaiyin FC will begin play in October 2014 during the inaugural season of the Indian Super League.

The 28-member team of the Chennaiyin FC, includes 12 foreign nationals from Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Sweden and Brazil. Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi was hired as player-manager. Chennaiyin FC will start their ISL journey from 16 October 2014. A detailed schedule was announced.

Earlier, Tendulkar has become the co-owner of the Indian Super League (ISL’s) franchise Kerala Blasters and Kohili through his company invested in the FC Goa franchise of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).

The other notable group shown interest in ISL from Tamil Nadu is Sun Group, which controls SpiceJet Ltd. and Sun TV Network Ltd., bought rights to the team from Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore. The group is also the owner of IPL Franchise.

The eight teams going head to head this ISL season are Atletico Kolkata, Chennaiyin FC, Delhi Dynamos FC, FC Goa, FC Pune City, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC and Northeast United FC.

The most expensive city to be won was the Kolkata team, which was won for approximately Rs 18 crore. The base price of each team was set at Rs 12 crore each.

India cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, along with PVP Ventures, had won the bidding for the Kochi franchise. Another former Indian cricketer, Sourav Ganguly, along with a group of Indian businessmen and La Liga side Atletico Madrid, had won the bidding for the Kolkata franchise. The most expensive city to be won was the Kolkata team, which was won for around Rs 18 crore. The base price of each team was set at Rs 12 crore each.

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