The Indian Super League is set to kickoff with a bang, as the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural football event promises plenty of glamour and panache, which has been the USP of the tournament ever since it came into existence.
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The ISL Opening Ceremony is set to begin at 6 pm IST with live coverage in India on a whole host of channels. Showing the event live will be Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Gold, Star Utsav, Asianet Movies, Suvarna Plus and Jalsha Movies.
If you do not have a TV around you, you can also watch the Opening Ceremony via free live streaming online on Starsports.com.
The ISL Opening Ceremony will have the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly – the owners of Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata respectively – in attendance, while several Bollywood stars, including Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Dhawan, John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan, the latest high-profile owner of the ISL, will also make their presence felt.
The Opening Ceremony, to be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, an hour before the first match of the ISL – Atletico de Kolkata vs Mumbai City FC – will feature a performance from Priyanka Chopra, while each of the eight teams will also be given an opportunity to highlight their culture via song and dance.
"The highlight of the grand Opening Ceremony will be a special performance by Bollywood diva and international pop icon Priyanka Chopra, accompanied by Salim Merchant of the Salim and Suleiman famed duo," said a statement on the official website of the ISL.
"Ms Priyanka Chopra will then set the stage alight performing with all the 8 musical maestros and dance performers, who will also sing an original compilation later. The grand Opening Ceremony is thus bound to set the tempo for the Hero Indian Super League and grip the whole nation with football fever."
The Opening Ceremony will begin with a performance from 200 children, and 100 dancers, amidst "600 illuminated footballs."
a few video montages will follow, before a tribute to India's footballing glory days – between 1951-62 – will be paid.
The Ceremony will end with spectacular fireworks, and will, hopefully, be a sign of things to come on the field as ISL, the great big hope of Indian football, takes centre-stage.