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By ESPN Staff

India to float company to run pro league

NEW DELHI, April 30 (Reuters) - India's nascent professional soccer league will be placed in the hands of a private company to meet eligibility rules for clubs to play in Asia's Champions League.

The Indian soccer federation and the clubs will have equity in the company that will take over for the second season of the I-League starting in September, the federation said in a statement on Tuesday after an executive meeting.

The Asian Football Confederation and world governing body FIFA have been pushing India to raise the standard of the game, to tap talent in the vast nation with a booming economy.

However, some clubs had not made satisfactory progress in meeting club licensing regulations, the statement said.

India launched its I-league along the lines of Japan's J-League in November after 11 years of a semi-professional existence after the AFC gave them three years to bring the clubs and the league to world standard.