The All India Football Federation has issued a tender notice inviting bids for new clubs to enter the I-League. In a release, the country’s football governing body said that it has invited bids from interested parties from cities across the country.
It was earlier reported that the AIFF had cleared MySports Management’s bid to form and enter a club based our of Kerala’s state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The AIFF wanted to get new clubs into the I-League so as to make up for the impending departures of Bengaluru FC, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to the ISL. It is now confirmed that only Bengaluru FC will be joining the ISL alongwith a team based out of Jamshedpur.
I-League will hence be starting the new season without one of its most prominent clubs and will be running parallel to the vastly more popular ISL. The AIFF further stated that winning bidders will “granted the right to own and operate a new club which will compete in I-League in each year from 2017 onwards and will have the opportunity (if applicable and subject to qualification) to compete in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation’s) club competitions.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming vibrant outfits in Hero I-League. The new entrants will surely bring newer challenges and fresh football dynamics which would provide more competitiveness and thrill to the league,” I-League CEO Sunando Dhar is quoted as saying. Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ranchi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Malapurram and Trivandrum are some of the cities that AIFF mentioned will be allowed to bid.