The wait is over as the Indian Super League (ISL) has added two more franchises to become a ten-team competition.
This was after Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the organizers of the ISL, opened the bid with a private auditing firm, Ernst & Young (EY) validating and evaluating the documents submitted by Tata Group and JSW-owned Bengaluru FC.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) June 12, 2017
ISL would now be played in 10 cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Margao, Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Pune, Bengaluru and Tatanagar.
The FSDL had earlier stated that teams keen on being part of the league can pick up the tender document from May 12th onward and submit by 25th May. The bids were invited from 10 cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cuttack, Durgapur, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Siliguri and Thiruvananthapuram with the organizers stating that they would induct only one to three teams.
Tata Group and Bengaluru FC were the only interested parties who submitted the bid. I-League's East Bengal and Mohun Bagan picked up the bid document but chose not to fill the document.
As per the original plan, the bids were to be opened on 26th May. However, it was suggested by Windsor that the bids submitted by interested parties to be a part of the ISL be opened only after the meeting in Kuala Lumpur on June 7 where stakeholders such as I-League, ISL clubs, Football Players Association of India (FPAI), Sports Ministry and others will be present.
Goal revealed earlier that the names of the two new teams would be announced before India take on Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.
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. 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".
Meanwhile, Parth Jindal, CEO of Bangaluru FC stated that JSW Steel opted to enter ISL with the best interests of Indian football in mind. He 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."