Kolkata, Oct 12: The opening ceremony of the inaugural Indian Super league (ISL) Sunday paid homage to the country's football team that participated in the 1948 London Olympics, playing barefoot against their opponents who wore football boots.
The team, coached by Balaidas Chatterjee, lost narrowly to France 1-2 in the first round at the Lynn Road Stadium, Ilford.
The ISL was declared open by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, flanked by All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel, ISL promoter and businesswoman Nita Ambani, and Sanjiv Goenka, co-owner of ISL franchise Atletico de Kolkata, in a colourful ceremony that had actor Priyanka Chopra regaling the audience with her energetic performance.
The ceremony had a huge Bollywwod presence with Amitabh Bachchan along with co-owners of different franchises - Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan - along with joint-owners Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly from the cricket world.
Hosts Atletico de Kolkata took on Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata Sunday in the inaugural match of the tournament.