By welcoming East Bengal FC into the Hero Indian Super League or ISL, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) founder-cum-chairperson Nita Ambani on Sunday announced the expansion of the top Indian football league.
Following Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation’s acquisition of majority stake in the top Indian football club, and their successful bid, the club will embark on its maiden Hero ISL journey as the eleventh team in the competition.
"It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their millions of fans into the League," 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.
"West Bengal has made an immense contribution to the growth of the beautiful game in India," she further said.
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," she added.
It may be mentioned here that ever since Mohun Bagan merged with ATK to enter ISL as ATK Mohun Bagan, the onus was on East Bengal to join their rivals in the top division.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced earlier that the Red and Golds are set to play in the ISL after managing to attract investment from Shree Cement Limited.
"Now the problem is solved. East Bengal will play in the ISL," she said.
With the seventh edition of the ISL slated to be a single-venue event in Goa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the iconic football club celebrating its centenary year is set to play in ISL.
Football fans across the country can now expect another derby and high voltage matches when the two legendary teams from West Bengal come face-to-face against each other in the ISL.
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