Former Ballon d'Or winner Fabio Cannavaro and Frenchman Robert Pires are among the players lured to play in a six-team Indian league, Premier League Soccer, modeled in part by cricket's successful Indian Premier League.
Argentina's Juan Pablo Sorin and Hernan Crespo, England's Robbie Fowler, Nigeria's Jay-Jay Okocha and Spain's Fernando Morientes will also play in the West Bengal-based circuit, according to the Celebrity Management Group (CMG), which is organizing the tournament. They will earn $100,000 to $600,000 for the seven-week season expected to start Feb. 25.
"The idea is to have one icon player and a top coach with each of the six teams," said CMG's Bhaswar Goswami. "Television coverage will ensure this tournament will attract viewers across India even though it will be played in West Bengal. We are working out the details."
The season will consist of five weeks of league play -- 10 games -- followed by the semifinals and final.