India hopes to boost soccer with new league

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NEW DELHI (AP) -- India is hoping to boost the popularity of soccer by starting a league that will feature veteran players like Robert Pires and Fabio Cannavaro.

A six-team league modeled partly on cricket's Indian Premier League is set to begin next month. The league is organized by Celebrity Management Group, which has signed a 30-year agreement with the Indian Football Association.

Players such as former Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler and Argentina's Hernan Crespo will play alongside local talent.

The inaugural tournament will be held in the eastern state of West Bengal from Feb. 25 to April 8. Organizers hope it will attract fans who follow European clubs because of the lack of good domestic teams.