Bengaluru FC joins Indian Super League

NEW DELHI: One of the top teams in India’s I-League has moved to the rival Indian Super League, which will grow to a 10-strong competition this year, organisers said.
Bengalaru FC, two-time I-League winners since their formation in 2013, will become one of two new ISL franchises when the new season starts in October. Both Bengalaru and the other new team, Jamshedpur, are backed by major companies — the Jindal South West conglomerate and Tata Steel respectively.
Parth Jindal, Bengaluru chief executive, said JSW’s decision to bid for an ISL team was in the “interest of long-term future of Indian football”.
“A lot of time and thought has gone into our decision of wanting to be part of the Indian Super League,” he added.
The ISL was launched in 2014 and has outstripped the 10-year-old I-League in broadcast ratings, prompting talk of a merger of the two competitions.
However, All-India Football Federation president Praful Patel last month played down the prospects of a merger, saying “it will take some more time for the integration of the two leagues”.
Italy’s Alessandro Del Piero and French striker Nicolas Anelka are among the veteran former stars to play in the ISL. — AFP