Four new clubs have submitted bid documents to be a part of the I-League football season 2017/18, an official said.
“Teams from Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan have submitted their bids. The decision will be taken on August 18,” an official told IANS on Wednesday.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had invited bids from new clubs in July from various cities across the country including Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Ranchi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Malappuram and Trivandrum.
While the names of clubs from Rajasthan and Gujarat could not be traced, it has been learnt that Bengaluru’s Ozone FC, participating in the I-League second division, and Gokulam FC, who are based in Malappuram in Kerala, are interested to play in the country’s premier league, the winners of which will get a chance to play in the AFC Champions League playoffs.
If DSK Shivajians, who have had financial problems relating to payment of players, take part in the I-League, then only one team will make the cut. If DSK don’t play, there could be two new teams next season.
The I-League will run simultaneously with the Indian Super League (ISL) from November. The winners of the ISL will take part in the AFC Cup.