POLITICS

This billionaire’s wife is behind Rs 700 crore football tournament in India; teamed up with Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni

The Indian Super League (ISL) is backed by the richest man in India and his wife, seeing partnerships with personalities such as Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ranbir Kapoor.

While the Indian Premier League (IPL) is considered to be the biggest domestic cricket league in the world, India’s football tournament Indian Super League (ISL) is also slowly gaining prominence. However, not many people know that Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani is behind organizing the football league.

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani, apart from owning the IPL team Mumbai Indians, also plays a part in promoting football in India by being the prime backer of the Indian Super League, partnering with personalities such as MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan.

Nita Ambani is the chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited, a company owned by Reliance Industries. FSDL is the organizer of the ISL, in partnership with the Star Network. Nita Ambani’s company owns 65 percent of the ISL rights, Star Network owns 35 percent.

Through Nita Ambani’s venture, the Indian Super League has helped spread the prominence of football in the country. FSDL-backed football league features teams such as Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters, East Bengal, Jamshedpur and Mumbai City.

The popularization of ISL also saw several big personalities and Bollywood stars buying domestic football teams, securing their share of the profits. The Chennai team was bought by MS Dhoni and Abhishek Bachchan, Goa was bought by Virat Kohli, Jamshedpur was bought by the Tata Group, Mumbai City was bought by Ranbir Kapoor and the Northeast United was bought by John Abraham.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had signed a Rs 700 crore deal with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries to form the Indian Super League through FSDL. Currently, Nita Ambani-backed ISL is worth over Rs 777 crore, and has a viewership of over 150 million worldwide.

FSDL is one of the lesser-known ventures of Nita Ambani, after the Reliance Foundation and her IPL team Mumbai Indians.

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