MUMBAI: Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) chairperson Nita Ambani on Saturday expressed her delight on delivering an "uninterrupted" and "successful" Indian Super League despite the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seventh season of the ISL will conclude tonight with the title clash between Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan in Margao, Goa. "Season 7 has been a tribute to the real power of sport, the true glory of football," said Ambani in a video message ahead of the season finale.
FSDL, a subsidiary of the Reliance group, manages and run ISL. "In spite of the global pandemic, despite the odds against us, the fear and uncertainty, this season of ISL has brought immense joy, cheer and celebrations back into our lives. I am proud of the fact that we were the first, the longest, and the most successful sports event to be held in India in these times," she added.
Ambani, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was glad to complete the season without the need to reschedule even a single fixture. "An approximate of 1600 people including footballers, support staff, club and League management and broadcast crew were housed in the strictest bio-bubble over a period of 6 months with close to 70,000 RT-PCR tests conducted by the League," she added.
ISL season 7, which kicked off on November 20, 2020, saw four months of uninterrupted footballing action featuring 11 clubs with an increased number of games from 95 to 115. The entire season was played behind closed doors at three stadiums in Goa under strict bio-bubble safety protocols.
Speaking on the league's fan engagement, Ambani said, "We missed our fans dearly in the stadium, but they were with us digitally and in spirit all along the season. Thank you to each and every one of you in Goa and for supporting and showing your love for the beautiful game. And thank you for reaffirming our faith that sport truly has the ability to unite, to delight, and to inspire the world."