Sports Football 26 May 2017 Bengaluru FC submit ...

Bengaluru FC submit ISL bid, keep options open

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SANDEEP MENON
Published May 26, 2017, 2:53 am IST
Updated May 26, 2017, 2:54 am IST
The club had picked up the ‘Invitation To Bid’ papers on May 12.
Federation Cup holders Bengaluru FC will solely play the ISL if their bid gets accepted. (Photo: DC)
 Federation Cup holders Bengaluru FC will solely play the ISL if their bid gets accepted. (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, confirmed that the club has submitted the bid papers for their entry into the Indian Super League. The club had picked up the ‘Invitation To Bid’ papers on May 12 and submitted the same for review on the deadline day. “We have submitted the bid. We were ready with it yesterday (Wednesday) itself and since today was the deadline, we submitted it in the morning itself,” said BFC Chief Technical Officer Mandar Tamhane.

“In terms of the bid requirement, we have been compliant with whatever is required. Now the review people will go through it and time will tell,” he added. There are several issues to be ironed out in the Indian football league system since the merger between the ISL and the I-League was postponed; the AFC Cup slot being one of them. With the AFC Champions League qualifier slot expected to remain with the I-League as per current road map, there has been talks about the future of the AFC Cup slot.

 

With all these uncertainties, Tamhane revealed they would have more clarity post the meeting between stakeholders, club owners, All India Football Federation and AFC officials in Kuala Lumpur on June 7. “I think that (AFC Cup slot) should be sorted. There is going to be a meeting chaired by the AFC General secretary Dato Windsor in Kuala Lumpur on June 7. That’s where I think everything will be informed probably. (Also) where the Champions League qualifier spot and the AFC Cup spot are likely to be distributed. But if (AFC Cup slot unavailability) is the case, we will review our bid again.Then we can make the call on whatever the decision is,” he revealed.

With the ISL and I-League penciled to be held simultaneously, should the bid for ISL entry be accepted then BFC, two time former champions, will no longer be part of the latter.

“Simultaneous leagues, that’s what the plans are right? When we discussed the entire program in Delhi about 7-8 months back, the things that are happening now are the same things that were discussed then. Except, now they are continuing to keep I-League as the prominent league with the AFC Champions League qualifier slot to the winner. Technically then you can say I-league is the main league of the country,” he explained. “If we get the deal and everything is as per what the plan is, then we will be part of the ISL,” he signed off.

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