Indian Super League gets two new teams -- Bengaluru and Jamshedpur

The Indian Super League, a popular football competition, will in its fourth edition in 2017-18 have an expanded five-month module and see the number of participating clubs increase to ten from the original eight founding-member city clubs.
This will meet the popular demand for a longer ISL and the Football Sports Development Limited's (FSDL) objective of spreading the game to more areas in India, a press release from the organisers said.
FSDL, a joint venture between IMG- Reliance and Star India, yesterday announced the addition of two of India’s largest conglomerates, Tata Steel Ltd. and the JSW Group, into the ISL fold.
The inclusion of the 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 and presented its report yesterday to the panel in the presence of All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das.
Tata Steel Ltd., which has won the bid to participate in ISL from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, are the pioneering Indian corporate to have provided national football with perennial pool of young footballers since 1987 through its Jamshedpur based facility – Tata Football Academy.
Mr 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."
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. JSW Group has to its credit a very successful and professionally run football club in I-League within a short period of three years; winning the competition twice including in its debut year.
Parth Jindal, CEO, JSW Bangaluru FC attributed JSW Group’s decision to bid for an ISL team to the “interest of long-term future of Indian football”.
Mr 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.”
Mr. Kushal Das 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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