JSW submits ISL bid documents

JSW, owner of I-League club Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, submitted the bid documents to be part of the expanded Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2017-18 season.

JSW, owner of I-League club Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, submitted the bid documents to be part of the expanded Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2017-18 season.   -  PTI

JSW, owner of I-League club Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, submitted the bid documents to be part of the expanded Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2017-18 season.

If accepted, it will bring the club’s association with the I-League — which it has won twice in four years – to an end as both the I-League and ISL are expected to run concurrently.

The uncertainty over the official status of the ISL seems to have done nothing to temper Bengaluru FC’s interest. The decision on the same is expected to be made at a stakeholders' meet at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on June 7 under the aegis of AFC General Secretary, Dato Windsor John.

“Nothing has been confirmed or informed by the AIFF or FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited). But it's time for BFC to move on now,” said Mandar Tamhane, BFC's Chief Technical Officer.

The hope at the club is that it will not be deprived of a chance to compete in Asia. Currently the I-League and Federation Cups decide India's entries. In the event of ISL being granted official status, the AFC Cup slot is likely to be transferred to it.

“I don't think that it should be an issue,” said Tamhane. “There is going to be a meeting in Kuala Lumpur. That is where I think everything will be informed — how the Champions League playoff spots and the AFC Cup spots are likely to be distributed.”

“The things that are happening now are the same things that were discussed 7-8 months back. Except that now they are continuing to keep I-League as the prominent one with the AFC Champions League qualifier slot to the winner of the I-league. You can say I-league is the main league of the country. But nothing has been confirmed in writing. If we get the deal and everything is as per what the plan is, then we will be part of the ISL.”

Tamhane though said that the club was prepared for any eventuality including ISL not getting an Asian berth. “I don't think that will happen but if that is the case, we will review it again. Only after the decision is made will the bids be opened right? Then we will make the call.”

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