CHENNAI: The Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) finally launched their own franchise-based league. The Indian Volleyball League, as it is called now, will be hosted in partnership with Europsort — Discovery Network’s premium sports brand. The new league is expected to have six to eight teams and is likely to be held in the June-July window this year.
The league will feature top India players and would consider those registered with the VFI. According to Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, players who would feature in nationals and Federation Cup would be considered. He said he is unaware of any other volleyball league in the country. “We don’t recognise any other volleyball league so I will not be able to say much about the league or players involved in it,” he said.
However, he said the federation knows its talent pool and would back all its domestic players who play in in their recognised tournaments.
As for the players contracted with other leagues, Jakhar said, he did not know because no one had sought permission from the VFI. But he is sure the league would attract big international players from abroad.
The new league, sanctioned by the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the international body (FIVB), is expected to give a big boost to the sport, that is otherwise very spectator friendly. Jakhar said a lot of things will be clear in the next few months.
According to VFI president Achyuta Samanta, this would be a big moment for the sport in the country. “We are sure they will help us take the league to places and together we aim to uplift the sport’s standard in the near future as one of the top international volleyball leagues globally,” he said
The proposed league will also be an annual feature in the global volleyball calendar.
“It is a momentous occasion for Indian volleyball, and we are thrilled to have a globally respected brand like Discovery on board with us,” Samanta added in his statement.