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Mohun Bagan and East Bengal joining ISL is a step in the right direction

10:56 AM IST 14/10/19
Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan
With the rich history and legacy that the Kolkata giants boast of, it is fitting that they get to play in the top division of Indian football...

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has finally revealed the future roadmap for Indian football and it is not surprising that the two biggest clubs of the country, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are all set to join the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2020-21 season. As per the plan shared by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), two clubs from the eastern region of India would get a chance to be a part of the ISL based on the legacy.

Goal had earlier revealed that both the entities held several meetings with top officials of Football and Sports Development Limited (FSDL) in the past couple of months and all the parties arrived at a consensus.

The Kolkata giants have always plied their trade in the top tier of Indian football and the kind of sporting excellence that these two have achieved over the past century makes them the appropriate contenders to continue competing at the highest level, especially in the backdrop of the I-League becoming the country's second-tier tournament. No other I-League team, or for that matter any club in India, can boast of such magnitude of success and their participation in ISL, which has been ratified as the top league in India, is a natural progression. 

The Red and Gold brigade has won the domestic league thrice, whereas the Maroon and Greens have become champions on four other occasions, superseding any other current I-League side. Mohun Bagan have also won the Federation Cup 14 times, a record in itself. The numbers testify that these clubs have consistently tasted success and are the rightful competitors to challenge the best clubs in the country. 

Both the clubs enjoy healthy fanfare and the Kolkata derby turns out to be the most attended match in Indian club football. Therefore, it is fitting that the marquee fixture of Indian football which is celebrated by millions of fans even beyond the borders of India gets featured in the top tier competition.

The level of competition in ISL is also bound to increase with the entry of these two behemoths. Over the years it has been witnessed that the race for a top-four finish continues till the last matchday of the league stage and the new entrants are definitely going to make the fight even more intense. 

Some of the old rivalries are also set to be renewed as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will go up against familiar foes Bengaluru FC.  These matches were fiercely fought and the jubilant engagement of both sets of fans made it an enthralling affair. 

To sum it up, the induction of the two biggest clubs in Indian football is another step taken towards the betterment of the football ecosystem by the AIFF.