India cricketing legend and ATK Mohun Bagan co-owner, Sourav Ganguly has hailed the Indian Super League (ISL) organisers for holding the competition without any hitch during the pandemic by terming it as a "a new benchmark for the Indian Sports Industry."
Football Sports Development Limited who were the organisers of the 2020/21 edition of the ISL took major precautions by setting up stringent health and safety protocols to conduct the first ever live sports event in India.
The six months of the competition which was held solely in Goa saw the FSDL create 18 bio-bubbles across 14 hotels which housed 1600 people while also conducting close to 70000 RT-PCR tests. It is understood that the league invested close to INR 17 crore in maintaining the most secure bio-bubble in bringing Indian football back to life.
“The successful completion of Hero Indian Super League in these challenging times is indeed a new benchmark for the Indian sports industry. It was a mammoth task undertaken by the organisers, considering the uncertainties surrounding initially. Must say, a job well done when you look back at the last 6 months," Ganguly said as per the ISL official website.
In addition to the money put in by the league, the FSDL invested a further INR 20 crore to take up the cost on rentals and to create infrastructure at eight training pitches for the clubs along with refurbishing three pitches at Fatorda Stadium, GMC Stadium Bambolim and Tilak Maidan in Goa to organise the top football league in India.
Ganguly went on to state that the success of the ISL should inspire other sports federations in the country to start their calendar.
“The ISL has shown to the world that India can host long format sports events even in the most challenging times. This should inspire many other sports in India now to kick-start their full calendar," he concluded.