The iconic East Bengal club will make its debut within the Indian Super League this season, the organisers of the football tournament announced on Sunday.
The century-old club’s inclusion in ISL, starting November, was on expected lines after its new investors Kolkata-based Shree Cement Limited, picked up the bid documents to enter the league.
A consortium of Shree Cement Limited and East Bengal, referred to as Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, had submitted the bid documents to FSDL.
East Bengal are going to be the 11th team within the competition, which can be played at three venues of Goa this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcoming East Bengal into the ISL, FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani said the Red and Golds’ inclusion after arch-rivals Mohun Bagan, who merged with ATK, within the country’s top division may be a monumental development for the Indian football ecosystem at large.
“It is such a cheerful and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their many 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 within the state,” Ambani said during a statement.