Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, on Sunday announced the expansion of Indian Super League (ISL) by welcoming East Bengal into the seventh edition of country’s top-flight football league.
Following Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation acquisition of majority stake in East Bengal Club and their successful bid, the Kolkata football giant will embark on its maiden ISL journey as the eleventh team in the competition.
“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,” said Nita in a statement.
“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,” she added.
The ISL, in its seventh edition, will be played behind closed doors at three venues – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco. East Bengal’s arch rivals Mohun Bagan, after its merger with ATK, will also make its debut in this ISL season.