BFC, Tata join ISL bandwagon

League will be a 10-team affair fromthis season

BFC, Tata     join ISL bandwagon
Bengaluru FC and Tata Steel Ltd will be the two new teams in the Indian Super League from the coming season, the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) announced on Monday. The announcement was made after bids received until the May 25 deadline were opened on Monday in Mumbai.

While the JSW-owned side will continue to be based out of Bengaluru, the team owned by Tata will be based out of Jamshedpur, making ISL a 10-team affair which will run for five months, the FDSL release stated.

“We’re glad that our bid to be part of the ISL has been okayed. A lot of time and thought has gone into our decision of wanting to be part of the league. The biggest factor has been the interest of the long-term future of Indian football. A longer league is the right road ahead," said club CEO Parth Jindal following the announcement.

"Being part of the ISL will improve our commercial viability that then lets us do a lot more with our youth academy. We are excited to create new rivalries and keep old ones going should the new format allow us to come up against each other (from the I-League). A key aspect is we still get to chase our quest for the AFC Cup,” he added.

The Tata Group, that has been successfully running a football academy — Tata Football Academy (TFA) in Jamshedpur since 1987 -- also expressed their pleasure on being inducted into the cash-rich league.

“This is a momentous occasion for Tata Steel. Our entry into ISL reinforces our commitment to provide a fillip to the development of football in the country,” said Sunil Bhaskaran, the TFA chairman.
The announcement of the increase in the number of teams in the ISL from eight to 10 has come amid uncertainty and discontent among I-League clubs regarding the domestic football structure chalked out by the All India Football Federation.

According to the roadmap of the AIFF, which though is yet to be officially announced, the Indian domestic football structure will have three tiers with the ISL being the top league and the current I-League and second division I-League being christened as League 1 and League 2.

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