East Bengal in ISL is the latest inclusion in the India’s high profile football league. Two months prior to scheduled opening of ISL season 20-21, Kolkata based East Bengal joined the Indian Super League. With this, the total ISL teams got to 11 today. Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), today, announced the inclusion of East Bengal into the seventh edition of India’s high profile football league.
The inclusion was imminent, as the new investors of the century-old club were already working on it. Shree Cement Limited, the new investors and East Bengal came together to support the club as Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, were bidding for a place and in process for the inclusion of East Bengal in ISL.
In a media release, today, the Founder & Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) was quoted as saying about East Bengal in 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. 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.”
Further adding to her statement, she said, “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.”
The club, on microblogging site, twitter, shared about the inclusion of East Bengal in ISL, “We know you have been waiting, and we have been waiting too.We are happy to announce that The East Bengal Club is playing in the #ISL. We thank all for the constant support and confidence that you rendered on us.We are all getting ready to beat the battle ground. #EastBengalInISL”
The other 10 teams in the Indian Super League include Kolkata based Arch-rivals who are now ATK Mohun Bagan after the merger, Mumbai City FC, Odisha FC, NorthEast United, Hyderabad FC, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC.
Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan & East Bengal Ground based team is among the most decorated clubs in Indian football with a record 39 times title of I-League. East Bengal has won 8 Federation Cups, 3 Super Cups, 29 IFA Shield titles, and 16 Durand Cup titles. With East Bengal in ISL 2020-21, the competition gets even bigger.
Covid-19 has made it difficult for the Indian Super League as well which will be played behind closed doors in Goa.