East Bengal, Mohun Bagan may become part of ISL next season, reveals AIFF

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East Bengal, Mohun Bagan may become part of ISL next season, reveals AIFF

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SportsCafe Desk

12/20/2018

East Bengal, Mohun Bagan will most likely be a part of the ISL next season as the AIFF initiate plans to restructure the league next season. Meanwhile, the Indian team have stepped up the preparation for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup which is scheduled to be held in the UAE in January.

All India Football Federation has been looking forward to merging the two domestic leagues. However, there still are a number of issues that need to be addressed. A unified league is not the ideal option for the AIFF but the Indian governing body is open to I-League clubs, most notably Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, joining the 2019-20 Indian Super League as part of a proposed restructuring.

With Quess as sponsors, East Bengal have been handed a financial boost while Mohun Bagan are also in talks with ATK to collaborate and form one single team. 

"Provided they (I-League clubs) fulfil the ISL criteria, it is possible as part of the restructuring. Talks are in advanced stages between Mohun Bagan and ATK," AIFF general Kushal Das told PTI on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Indian national team is leaving on Thursday to play Oman in an international friendly on December 27, which will conclude their preparation for the Asian Cup. The continental showpiece will be held in the UAE from January 5 to February 1. Stephen Constantine’s squad is likely to play a club side based in the Gulf on December 30 ahead of the Asian competition.

AIFF president Praful Patel termed the country's fourth participation in the AFC tournament a "precursor to India's goal to achieve a berth in the FIFA World Cup by 2026."

"The Asian dream needs to be achieved by 2026 as there will be eight teams from Asia in the FIFA World Cup," Patel said at a press conference after a kit launch of the team. You just always cannot live a dream and we have to make the Asian dream a reality. And with the form the national team is in, and if Sunil Chhetri and everybody can pull their feet together, we can make it a reality," Das added.

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