Sachin Tendulkar helps open Indian Super League

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Football is popular in India, but it has to compete for space with cricket

The Indian Super League began on Sunday, with Peter Reid's Mumbai City losing 3-0 to Atletico de Kolkata.

India's former cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar, co-owner of ISL team Kerala Blasters, took part in the opening ceremony in Calcutta.

Mumbai players Nicolas Anelka and Freddie Ljungberg were missing through suspension and injury respectively.

Goals from Fikru Teferra, Borja Fernandez and Arnal Llibert secured victory for the hosts.

Marquee players in the Indian Super League
Atletico de Kolkata: Ex-Spain and Liverpool forward Luis Garcia
Chennaiyin: Ex-Brazil and Manchester City playmaker Elano
Delhi Dynamos: Ex-Italy and Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero
FC Goa: Ex-France and Arsenal winger Robert Pires
FC Pune City: Ex-France and Juventus striker David Trezeguet
Kerala Blasters: Ex-England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James
Mumbai City: Ex-Arsenal and Sweden midfielder Freddie Ljungberg
Northeast United FC: Ex-Spain and Villarreal defender Joan Capdevila

Former Liverpool players Luis Garcia, their marquee player, and Josemi both featured for Atletico.

Reid said: "The better team won on the day. We didn't deserve it. It happens in football."

The ISL will run as a 10-week, eight-team tournament with the aim of increasing the popularity of the sport in a country in which cricket dominates.

Sachin Tendulkar
India cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, co-owner of Kerala Blasters, with Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, co-owner of Chennaiyin FC
Luis Garcia
Former Spain forward Luis Garcia played for Liverpool between 2004 and 2007
Borja Fernandez
Borja Fernandez left Getafe in the summer to join Atletico
Priyanka Chopra
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra took part in the opening ceremony

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