The Chief Minister of West Bengal has taken the matter into her own hands giving it a new dimension altogether.
Amid the conundrum of East Bengal taking part in the Indian Super League (ISL) next season, a Times of India report suggests that Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has taken the matter in her own hands.
The report claims that Banerjee called All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Mr. Praful Patel in order to voice her opinion and give the Red and Gold a push in terms of participating in the country’s elite league next season. Following her call, the CM herself has asked club officials to keep a check on the progress with their AIFF counterparts.
East Bengal senior official Debabrata Sarkar has confirmed the claim and has also thanked Banerjee for her support in this matter.
“Yes, it’s true that the Chief Minister has called up the AIFF President and she has been kind enough to take up our issue with him,” Sarkar told Times of India.
“The AIFF chief has told her that he will look into our cause with a positive frame of mind,” he continued.
It goes without saying that with Mohun Bagan’s merger with ATK, the Green and Maroons will feature in the ISL next season. On the other hand, East Bengal are hopeful that efforts of club’s officials won’t go in vain, as they are getting encouragement from Banerjee’s stance. After all, the Chief Minister herself said at the Khelashree programme that she wants both the Kolkata giants to play in the elite league of the country.
“Being a heritage club, East Bengal will always look to play in the top league. The fact that both the Chief Minister as well as sports minister (Aroop Biswas) have taken up our cause with the powers that be in Indian football, it’s natural that we make room for playing in the ISL. This is why, we are leaving no stone unturned in achieving this goal,” Sarkar, who was confident said that East Bengal will play in the ISL a few days back, added.
On Banerjee’s advice, the East Bengal club officials have written a letter to Praful Patel seeking news about the progress in this matter.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic which has hampered several fields and stopped sporting events, FSDL who run the ISL are yet to open the bidding process for new teams. The FSDL and AIFF officials have assured that both parties are ready to consider East Bengal’s case and include them in the ISL only if the club is deemed ready for the league.
“If the Chief Minister wants us to play in the ISL, we have to explore that possibility. We are keeping a close watch on all the developments amidst the pandemic. We hope to be in a position to present our case when the game will return to action here,” Sarkar signed off.