MUMBAI: Mrs Nita Ambani, founder & chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), Sunday announced the expansion of Hero Indian Super League by welcoming East Bengal FC into the seventh edition of India’s top-flight football league.
Following Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation’s acquisition of a majority stake in East Bengal Club and their successful bid, the club will embark on its maiden Hero ISL journey as the eleventh team in the competition.
Mrs. Ambani said: “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,” added Mrs Ambani.
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, known as Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, had submitted the bid documents to FSDL.
The other 10 teams in the Indian Super League are ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City FC, Odisha FC, NorthEast United, Hyderabad FC, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC.