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ISL- Indian Super League

East Bengal Asst. General Secretary: ISL is a 'masala' league

Published at :May 11, 2020 at 8:09 PM
Modified at :May 13, 2020 at 3:55 AM
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The senior official of the club received flak for his comments from Mohun Bagan's Debashis Dutta during an online chat show.

Over the last few weeks, one of the most trending news stories in Indian football has to be whether East Bengal will play in the Indian Super League (ISL) next season or not.

The club officials have given mixed signals over the club's participation in the ISL. Therefore, the fans are eager to know whether they will be able to see their team playing alongside the country's elite.

Amid doubts regarding their induction into the ISL next season, East Bengal Assistant General Secretary Dr. Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta bashed the league and also shared his opinion on the club's participation in an online chat show on Saturday.

"We cannot say anything positive that we will play in the ISL. Because of the lockdown, things have slowed down. We are trying, but I cannot say that we will play in the ISL with confidence at the moment. If you ask me personally, I am not interested in playing in the ISL."

"It is not a proper league, It is a 'masala' league, there is no promotion and relegation. When we went to Malaysia in October, we raised all these points in front of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA representatives. They had promised that for five more years this will go on and then things will change," Dasgupta went on to add.

The senior official of East Bengal feels that the ISL has not done enough over the years to produce new talent for the national team.

"Where is Indian football heading with the ISL? Are we producing new talent? East Bengal and Mohun Bagan always produce players for India. I am sorry to say, but that is not the case in the ISL. We still believe that the way things happen in the ISL, it is difficult for Indian football to progress. If it happens, then very well because we all want Indian football to grow."

The online show also had Mohun Bagan senior official Debasish Dutta and he was quick to come up with a cheeky reply to his counterpart on this matter.

"It seems grapes are sour. On one hand, your club officials are requesting the AIFF president (Praful Patel) to allow you to take part in the league (ISL) and on the other hand, you are calling it a ‘masala league.' I believe that even the ISL has some shortcomings and we can change those things once we enter the league. It is not possible to change things and fight from outside," stated the financial secretary of Mohun Bagan.

The Red and Gold are known for their legacy and heritage as they have won several accolades in their 100-year history. However, they are yet to get their hands on the much-coveted I-League trophy, while their arch-rivals have won it twice. Therefore, adding to his earlier comment Dutta said, "I think only for the East Bengal fans, the club must play the I-League and win it at least once, even if it is without Mohun Bagan. Otherwise, it will be very painful for them."

Thus, a cloud of uncertainty regarding East Bengal's participation in the ISL next season remains. Yet, the biggest loss will be for Indian football fans, who might not get to witness the historic Kolkata Derby next year.




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