Bengaluru, Jamshedpur to be part of expanded ISL

Two steel conglomerates have won the bids for two new clubs in ISL. JSW Group, which owns the successful football club Bengaluru FC through its subsidiary JSW Sports, won the right to participate in ISL from Bengaluru city. Tata Steel Ltd., won the bid to participate from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.

JSW, owner of I-League club Bengaluru FC, has won the bid for a team in ISL.   -  PTI

Bengaluru and Jamshedpur will be the new entrants in the fourth season of the Indian Super League after steel conglomerates JSW Group and Tata Steel Ltd won the bids for two new clubs. With the inclusion of the two cities, the ISL has been expanded to 10 clubs and will be played across a five-month period.

JSW Group, which owns the successful football club Bengaluru FC through its subsidiary JSW Sports, won the right to participate in ISL from Bengaluru city. Tata Steel Ltd., won the bid to participate from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. According to sources, the winning bids were pegged at around Rs. 18 crore.

While the JSW Group has given Bengaluru FC's home ground, Sree Kanteerava Stadium, as the venue, Tata Steel Ltd has named the JRD Tata Sports Complex Stadium as its home venue. The ISL will conduct inspection before approving the venues.

This is a momentous occasion for Tata Steel...Our entry into the coveted Indian Super League reinforces our commitment to provide a fillip to the development of football in the country. We are extremely excited to have won the bid for our hometown Jamshedpur and will provide the best of facilities for football to prosper in the eastern part of our country

Football Sports Development Limited – the joint venture between IMG- Reliance & Star India today announced the addition of two of India’s largest conglomerates Tata Steel Ltd. – a US$ 18.12 billion company and subsidiary of Tata Group (US$ 103.51 billion 2015-16) and Jindal South West (JSW) Group – US$ 9 billion corporate into the fold of Indian Super League.

The inclusion of two new clubs came through the ‘Invitation To Bid’ tender process floated by FSDL last month. An independent panel along with consulting firm EY evaluated the bids to present its report today to the panel, in the presence of All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr Kushal Das.

Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Bhaskaran, vice-president Corporate Services, Tata Steel and chairman TFA, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Tata Steel, which has always been a pioneer in the development of sports in the country, especially football. Our entry into the coveted Indian Super League reinforces our commitment to provide a fillip to the development of football in the country. We are extremely excited to have won the bid for our hometown Jamshedpur and will provide the best of facilities for football to prosper in the eastern part of our country”.

Subimal (Chuni) Goswami, the Asian Games gold winning captain and the founder director of Tata Football Academy, highlighted the contribution of the Tata Group in development of football while hailing the news of the conglomerate launching its own team. “The Tatas have always been promoters of sports and have contributed a great deal to the cause of sports. TFA is a first-of- its-kind institution that was set up to groom budding footballers so that they can evolve into good footballers in course of time. It is only natural that Tatas are getting associated with ISL”.

Parth Jindal, CEO, JSW Bengaluru FC attributed JSW Group’s decision to bid for an ISL team to the “interest of long-term future of Indian football”.

Jindal said, “We’re glad that our bid to be part of the ISL has been accepted. A lot of time and thought has gone into our decision of wanting to be part of the Indian Super League. The biggest factor has been the interest of the long-term future of Indian football. A longer league is the right road ahead.”

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF expressed satisfaction on the bid evaluation process, saying, “The interest shown by India’s two large corporates to be part of ISL and Indian football’s growth story is an indication of the growing popularity of the sport in the country. Their contribution to Indian football has been immense and will only set the high standards in ISL.”

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