Four new teams have submitted bids to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for spots in the 2017/18 season of the I-League, Goal understands.
AIFF had invited bids from new clubs last month from various cities across the country, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ranchi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Malappuram and Trivandrum.
Bengaluru's Ozone FC, who are currently plying their trade in the I-League 2nd division, and Gokulam FC, who are based from Malappuram in Kerala, have submitted their bids.
Two new clubs from Rajasthan and Gujarat are also understood have submitted the bid documents, stating their interest to participate in the league which will run parallel to the Indian Super League (ISL) this season.
The four bids will be evaluated on 18th August before the Indian FA comes to a decision as to award the I-League spots to which teams.
The AIFF were keen to include a team from Bengaluru, given the exit of the hugely popular Bengaluru FC who opted to play in the ISL, which prompted a bid from Ozone FC who have been pushing for the same for quite a while now.
Meanwhile, if Gokulam FC's bid is accepted, they will be the first team from Kerala to play in the I-League since the relegation of Chirag United Kerala after the 2011-12 season.
Interestingly. the I-League has never had a participant from Rajasthan or Gujarat in the 10 years of its existence.