East Bengal to be part of the Indian Super League
Kolkata giants East Bengal are now officially part of Indian Super League (ISL) after they made a successful bid to become a part of the competition. Football Sports Development Limited confirmed the same in a statement released on Sunday. East Bengal had been taken over by Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation. They were the solitary entity to bid for their inclusion in the ISL.
'It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL'
"It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their millions of fans into the League," FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani said. "The inclusion of both legacy clubs, i.e. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) opens limitless possibilities for Indian football, especially for talent development in the state," she added.
East Bengal manage their way to enter India's top-tier league
East Bengal's entry was always set to happen, however, with the club struggling financially, it seemed unlikely that the move would materialize in time for them to be part of the ISL 2020-21 season. EB received help from the West Bengal government and managed to acquire a new investor in time to pave its way into India's top-tier league.
Mohun Bagan had merged with ATK earlier to enter ISL
Earlier this year, Bagan merged with two-time ISL winners ATK to enter the tournament. The move happened after RPSG Group, who own ATK, acquired an 80% majority stake. The club has been renamed as ATK Mohun Bagan. In July, ATK Mohun Bagan's board decided to retain the iconic green and maroon jersey which has been synonymous with the 131-year-old legacy of the football club.
East Bengal are now the 11th team in ISL
East Bengal are now the eleventh team in the ISL and will take part in the 2020-21 campaign that is scheduled to be played in Goa in its entirety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the 11 teams to feature in ISL
Teams: ATK Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, East Bengal, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United FC and Odisha FC.
Key details about ISL 2020-21
The 2020-21 edition of the ISL is expected to be held from November 2020 to March 2021. The tournament will be hosted behind closed doors across three venues in Goa because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ATK emerged triumphant in the 2019-20 season, beating Chennaiyin FC.