Indian Football: Mohun Bagan to participate in Sheikh Kamal International Cup as East Bengal wait for Quess nod
Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan SC have confirmed their participation for the third edition of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup to be held in Chittagong, Bangladesh from October 19. They have received NOC from AIFF and have given written confirmation to the tournament organizers.
East Bengal, meanwhile, has given a verbal assurance over their participation but are waiting for the final call from their sponsors-cum-investors Quess.
"We got written confirmation from Mohun Bagan on Friday and today [Saturday] we got written confirmation from Mohammedan. We also got verbal assurances from East Bengal today [Saturday]," said Chittagong Abahani's director and the tournament's chief co-ordinator Ruhul Amin to Bangladeshi media outlet Daily Star.
The Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup is a biennial invitational tournament organized jointly by Chittagong Abahani and the Bangladesh Football Federation. At the inaugural edition in 2015, Mohammedan SC and East Bengal represented India with the latter finishing as runners-up of the competition.
Two years later, no Indian club participated in the tournament but the organizers are confident that Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan SC, and East Bengal (if they confirm their participation) will send their full-strength team.
Bangladesh Premier League champions Basundhara Kings, Federation Cup winners Dhaka Abahani Limited, and hosts Chittagong Abahani will be the other three teams participating in the eight-team tournament.
The I-League might begin from the first week of November and this could be a great opportunity for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to test their squad for the final time.
For the remaining two vacant spots, the organizers have sent out invitations to the federations of Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Maldives, and Cambodia. Once the teams are finalized, the draw will be conducted wherein the teams will be divided into two groups of four teams each and the winners and runners-up will advance to the knockout stages.