IFA clarification -- ATK disaffiliated, Mohun Bagan to play with new brand name
THE INDIAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION, WEST BENGAL, HAS accepted the proposal to discontinue the affiliation of ATK, and continuing with Mohun Bagan's affiliation with a re-branding.
Mohun Bagan, who play in the Calcutta Football League's highest tier, the Premier Division A, will now play with their new brand name ATK Mohun Bagan. ATK, who fielded a squad in the lower tiers of CFL, will no longer be active. Mohun Bagan will use the 'ATK Mohun Bagan' brand name not only in CFL, but also in ISL and AFC Cup, as the registration with the state association forms the basis of club licensing for all professional national and international competitions.
The decision, which will come into effect once the IFA's Governing Body approves it, was announced via a letter written by IFA Secretary Joydeep Mukherjee.
The owners of ATK, under the consortium name of Kolkata Games & Sports Private Limited, headed by leading industrialist Sanjiv Goenka, purchased the majority shares of Mohun Bagan Football Club Private Limited; the holding company which runs Mohun Bagan's football department. This led to the establishment of a new holding company, called ATK Mohun Bagan Private Limited, which now oversees Mohun Bagan's football team.
The new board has decided that this team will carry on with the footballing continuity of the Mohun Bagan footall team. ATK's disaffiliation from IFA comes as a result of that. This team will also play in the group stages of AFC Cup 2021; a slot earned by Mohun Bagan when they won the I-League 2019-20. The AFC Cup Qualifer slot earned by ATK when they won the ISL 2019-20 playoffs has been vacated and handed over to the next best team in the ISL league stage, Bengaluru FC.
The decision to continue with Mohun Bagan's footballing credentials ensures that ATK Mohun Bagan FC, which bears the iconic Mohun Bagan logo & green-maroon colours, can undisputably lay claim to the Mariners' long history, pioneer status, loyal fanbase and hundreds of silverware including a record number of national league & cup championships.