Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) announced the addition of two new clubs, owned by Tata Steel Limited and Jindal South West (JSW) Group, respectively, to the Indian Super League. The inclusion of the two new clubs came through the ‘Invitation To Bid’ tender process floated by FSDL last month.
Tata Steel, which won the bid to participate from Jamshedpur, has been promoting football since 1987 through the Tata Football Academy.
JSW Group, owner of two-time I-League champion team Bengaluru FC, won the right to participate from Bengaluru.
Sunil Bhaskaran, vice-president, Corporate Services, Tata Steel and Chairman TFA, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Tata Steel, a pioneer in the development of sports in the country, especially football.
“Our entry into the coveted ISL reinforces our commitment to provide a fillip to the development of football. We are extremely excited to have won the bid for our home town Jamshedpur and will provide the best of facilities.”
Parth Jindal, CEO, JSW Bengaluru FC said: “A lot of time and thought has gone into our decision of wanting to be part of ISL. The biggest factor has been the interest of the long-term future of Indian football. A longer league is the right road ahead.”
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das expressed satisfaction on the bid evaluation process, saying: “The interest shown by India’s two large corporates is an indication of the growing popularity of the sport in the country.
“Their contribution to Indian football has been immense and will set high standards in ISL.”
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