John Abraham, the passionate Northeast United FC owner is eagerly awaiting for October 1. It is the grand opening ceremony of Hero Indian Super League 2016. Guwahati, for the first time, will get the honour of hosting the opening ceremony at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
In the opening game, NorthEast United FC will face the Kerala Blasters. ‘I cannot even begin to tell you how big it is for us. It is fantastic! Finally, we can give the Northeast an occasion to be proud of and to feel good about being the centre of attraction for the Indian Super League. We are a football hub and it was important for the people of the region to feel recognized. We are privileged and honoured,’ said Abraham.
In the past, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Goa have hosted either the opening ceremony or the final but for the first time the ISL has chosen the Northeast to host one of the major events of the Indian sport.
‘When young kids will watch this mega event, they will hopefully be inspired by the magnitude of it all and tell themselves, ‘I want to perform on a stage like this one day’. Such events always give a boost to the community and aspiring athletes. I can assure you that the entire region will be gearing up for the opening ceremony,’ added John.
Interestingly, NorthEast United FC have always had Kerala Blasters as their opening game opponent in the last two seasons of ISL. While NorthEast United FC won by a solitary goal when the ISL was launched in 2014, Kerala Blasters got their revenge the following year with a 3-1 victory. This time around, the hosts are looking for reasons to celebrate not just the opening ceremony but three points as well.