ISL 2017: Top I-League clubs signal intent to join Indian Super League
What's the story?
In a brilliant news for the Indian football fans, Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan ownership have confirmed that they are ready to join the ISL when the situation arises. All India Football Federation (AIFF) is expected to merge the I-League and ISL soon with the board wanting only one major league in the country. But opposition from East Bengal and Mohun Bagan meant that the country will see two parallel leagues running together this season.
But a change of heart for two of India's major footballing institutions in Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan means that the country will see a unified league soon. Churchill Alemao, the owner of the Goan club said, “Let’s see what happens in the future. We have spent everything we had on Indian football. Churchill Brothers are now the only Goan team in the I-League and when the AIFF starts one league, we hope to be there as well."
In case you didn't know...
Churchill Brothers are the only club from Goa in the I-League at the moment. Other teams like Dempo SC, Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa have opted out because of indifferences with the Indian board. The club is famous for recruiting some of the best foreign players that have ever played in India and were influential in the new ruling of five foreigners in the playing eleven from this season.
The heart of the matter
Apart from the Churchill Brothers owner, Mohun Bagan president Tutu Bose yesterday promised in the club's Annual General Meet that the Kolkata side will soon be seen in the ISL. Two of India's oldest and biggest sides opting to play for the elite competition will come as a pleasant surprise for the AIFF. Alemao also recently revealed that he and his family had to fight a court case to keep the side in the I-League.
The ISL is set for an expansion in 2019 and for the team to be considered from the same city then it has to be at a 50km distance from the other side. FC Goa are based in North Goa which means that Churchill Brothers will have to be based in the southern part of the city.
The authorities have tried hard to take all the clubs on board for the idea of one grand league in the country. Those efforts are finally bearing fruit with two of India's major sides confirming their interest to join the ISL. Soon, the remaining sides will also come to terms with the idea and agree upon joining the league.