THE LONG AWAITED confirmation of East Bengal's inclusion in the Indian Super League came this morning.
In a press release from ISL organizers Football Sports Development Limited, it was announced that the Red and Golds will join their arch rivals Mohun Bagan in a high profile move from the I-League to the ISL.
FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani was quoted as saying,
“It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their millions of fans into the League. 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. West Bengal has made an immense contribution to the growth of the beautiful game in India. ISL’s growing footprint in the state and across India, is yet another step towards our mission of building a competitive and robust football ecosystem in the country.”
Ever since the deal between Shree Cement and East Bengal was announced a few weeks earlier, their ISL inclusion was a matter of time. FSDL issued an invitation for bids for new teams and EB were the only team to submit a bid under newly established company 'Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation.'
Further paperwork included transferring the registration and license to this new company and once all that was done, there was no more obstacle in their participation in ISL 2020-21. All that remains is the club's executive committee officially transferring the necessary rights to the new company, which will be completed in the Emergency General Meeting called at the club this evening.
Now that East Bengal have been confirmed to participate in the ISL, millions of fans across the country and beyond can breathe easy that the long awaited Kolkata Derby featuring the century-old intense rivalry between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will continue without interruption at the national stage.