As per reports from Goal, I-League giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan would be the first clubs from the I-League to get into the country’s top-tier and would be the next entrants into the league. However, the Kolkata giants would need to work extremely hard to meet FSDL standards to do the same.
With ISL would be open to promotion and relegation from the 2023-24 season, reports have emerged that the top tier would be adding Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan as their next two teams. The decision to make the league open was taken on October 14 in a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, where the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) finally confirmed the roadmap.
And though the identities of the two clubs have been limited to just “popular clubs from the eastern region of the country”, Goal has reported that the clubs would be Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. However, the clubs having huge legacy and popularity would need to improve drastically in terms of maintenance of stadiums and infrastructure in order to meet the Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL) standards.
Defending I-League champions Chennai City have been the only side from the league to fulfill their licensing criteria with all the rest failing to meet the basic requirements of the club licensing criteria for any football club in the world. Hence, both the Kolkata clubs would need to set their standards high.
Apart from the off-field issues, the clubs have also seen on-field concerns such as delayed kick-offs, floodlight failures, and pathetic ground conditions, which have been plaguing the league. The security system of the stadiums has been abysmal with away teams even missing out on training sessions owing to lack of facilities.
However, letting in two more clubs would go a long way in expanding the league after outcries to do the same has been a constant for months now.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi