Over the past few weeks, Kolkata football giants East Bengal have made no attempt to hide their desire of competing in the country’s premier league, the Indian Super League (ISL), from next season. However, the club might be left with no competition to take part in, not even the I-League.
It’s common knowledge that East Bengal club does not have the sporting rights to compete in the ISL or the I-League, or for that matter, any recognised football tournament, after having acrimoniously terminated their tie-up with their investors Quess Corp. The sporting rights still remain with Quess East Bengal — the Joint Venture between the club and the investors who had a 70 per cent stake in the club.
As per a report by IANS, the club is yet to inform about its status and change of ownership structure to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and subsequently acquire Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) club licensing. If they fail to do either of the two within mid-July, East Bengal would be ineligible to take part in any competition.
Back in May, East Bengal officials were fairly confident that they would be a part of the ISL next season. The club had begun signing players with ISL in their minds — from Balwant Singh to Indo-Iranian winger Omid Singh, the Red and Golds roped in quite a few stars for the upcoming season.
However, the new signings were handed contracts set to be executed between themselves and East Bengal Club, the entity which do not have any sporting rights at the moment. As per a report in Goal.com, the club has promised the players that their contracts will be changed accordingly as and when the new entity gets the sporting rights.