Mamata Banerjee extends full support to Kolkata clubs

With less than 48 hours left to complete the bidding for ISL, officials of the two clubs and Indian Football Association (IFA), which administers football in the state, met state sports minister Aroop Biswas and the chief minister.

"Mamata has promised to give full support to the clubs. She asked the clubs to hold their heads high and not compromise on their dignity,” said West Bengal Sports minister Aroop Biswas.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

 

The Indian Football Association (IFA) on Tuesday said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has extended her full support to city based iconic clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan's proposed inclusion in the Indian Super League (ISL).

With less than 48 hours left to complete the bidding for ISL, officials of the two clubs and Indian Football Association (IFA), which administers football in the state, met state sports minister Aroop Biswas and the chief minister.

"Mamata has promised to give full support to the clubs. She asked the clubs to hold their heads high and not compromise on their dignity.

"We will not play by giving franchise fees. It's a disrespect to Bengal's football. There will be no compromise on that," IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli said after the clubs' meeting with the chief minister.

The two clubs have requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to waive ISL franchise fees of Rs 15 crore keeping their long tradition and service to the country's football in mind. This is one of the major barriers in the inclusion of these fan-based clubs in the ISL.

"We will now wait for the AIFF's proposal as we have the full support of the government. These clubs' contribution to Indian football cannot be compared with a new franchise," said Ganguli.

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