We’re looking forward to new rivalries in the ISL: Jindal
The Hero Indian Super League on Monday announced the addition of two new teams from Bengaluru and Jamshedpur ahead of the fourth edition as it continues to revolutionise and change the landscape of football in India. In a move that is set to delight fans, the three-season young league, which is the third most attended football league globally, will expand to five months for its upcoming season, and as a result attracted bids from two of India’s largest conglomerates in Tata Steel Ltd (Jamshedpur) and Jindal South West, JSW Group (Bengaluru).
JSW Group, which already owns the highly successful and popular Bengaluru FC, succeeded in winning the rights to participate in the Hero ISL and represent the Garden City. The past four years have seen Bengaluru FC establish themselves as a powerhouse of Indian football after winning the Hero I-League in their debut season in 2013-14. They then picked up the Federation Cup in 2014-15 before claiming their second Hero I-League in 2015-16.
CEO of Bengaluru FC Parth Jindal explained the reasons behind their bid in an exclusive interview to indiansuperleague.com.
“We felt the ISL, at this point in time, is the way ahead for Indian football. The longer league this season will help Indian football on so many fronts. Then there’s the prospect of playing the AFC Cup through the ISL which was a key factor in us deciding to join the league,” Mr Jindal said.
Expanding on what made the club take the all-important decision, Jindal added: “We’ve been setting a benchmark in Indian football since the club’s inception four years ago, both on the pitch and off it. But Bengaluru FC has always been about the bigger picture – to help Indian football develop. We felt the time was right to make the switch to the ISL. The league is marketed really well and it has undergone changes since its inception. We’ve chosen to go with the road ahead for Indian football.”
Jindal also expressed his delight at the prospect of finally being a part of the Hero ISL as well as the new challenges and rivalries that come along with it. “We’re pleased to be part of the Hero ISL, to say the least. We’ve enjoyed tremendous success in the I-League in a very short span of time and the ISL will be a completely new challenge that we’re relishing. We’re really looking forward to new rivalries and the ISL experience as a whole,” he said.
He parted with a message for Bengaluru FC’s dedicated fans, who are renowned for their enthusiastic and passionate support. “Our fans are the best in the country and I can say this without an iota of doubt. A lot of the key decisions we have taken at this club have been taken keeping their interests in mind too. And our decision to join the ISL is no different. The fans have backed us through thick and thin and I’m certain they will be with us as we turn a new chapter in the club’s history. We’ve given them a trophy every season and our aspirations won’t be any different this season,” Mr Jindal concluded.