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Shilpa-Raj want to play a different ball game

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Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra
After doing reasonably well as co-owners in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty look all set to launch an international football league soon this year.

Says a source close to the couple, "It will be a private football league (by invitation only). Six elite corporates and six A-List celebrities will co-own the football teams. The league will be christened the Football India Cup.

Talks are on with the All India Football Federation to be affiliated with them. Team owners will buy international footballers. Retired footballers at the top of their form may also be included. There will be four international footballers and seven Indian ones for each team."

Raj and Shilpa are waiting for a window to be given to launch the football league. Only the letter in intent has been signed. The source adds, "Raj has always been extremely passionate about football and has wanted to form a league along international lines for some time now. He wants to improve the infrastructure for the Indian youth. Shilpa's hubby hopes that one day India will have 11 football players who will win us the World Cup."

The source says, "In fact, last year, he even met AIFF general secretary, Alberto Colaco and discusssed development projects, football competitions, the general football structure and the opportunities available in India.

Moreover, Shilpa and Raj are good friends of Praful Patel, AIFF president. It is hoped that with his involvement, the sport will be encouraged now. Football is huge in India and Britain. Kundra feels it's good to encourage another sport. For him, it's not another business. There are 300,000 registered footballers in India. The football league will offer them all job opportunities."

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