Kolkata Giants East Bengal Football Club are the newest entrants in the Indian Super League. Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) announced the inclusion of East Bengal FC in the 2020-21 edition of the ISL on Sunday. This is the first time that two teams playing from a single city in the ISL.
Indian Super League gets the New Kolkata Derby
Arch Rivals Mohun Bagan merged with ISL side ATK to form ATK Mohun Bagan in January 2020. The onus, then, was on East Bengal officials to part ways with Quess Corporation, and get new investors on board to ensure financial guarantee to bid for a place in the Indian Super League.
The club, along with Government of West Bengal, finalised a deal with Kolkata-based cement giant Shree Cement. Shree Cement acquired a majority stake in East Bengal Football Club. The company has formed a foundation with East Bengal Club named 'Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation' and have acquired 100% of the club's sporting portfolio.
Robbie Fowler to coach East Bengal FC?
East Bengal FC will reunite with arch-rivals Mohun Bagan (merged as ATK Mohun Bagan) and Bengaluru FC from the I-League in the ISL. The club has played with FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in the Super Cup and have won on both the occasions. The club is rumoured to play their home games in the 2020-21 season from the Tilak Maidan or the Bambolim ground.
Liverpool legend and former Brisbane Roar Head Coach Robbie Fowler is set to be appointed as the Head Coach of East Bengal FC. East Bengal and Indian football legend Renedy Singh will act as assistant to the Red and Golds. Head Coach Francisco Bruto Costa is expected to lead the East Bengal Football Academy.
FSDL Founder and Chairperson Nita 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.”Published 27 Sep 2020, 21:38 IST