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Baichung Bhutia: East Bengal has enough time to prepare for the 2020-21 ISL season

The rivalry of the two Kolkata based clubs, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are well known to all the Indian football fans. Both the clubs played I-League last season, with Mohun Bagan winning the 2019-20 title.

Read: Mohan Bagan declared I-League champions as AIFF conclude the 2019-20 season amid Coronavirus pandemic

Three-time ISL winner ATK has now merged with Mohun Bagan to form a new club, ATK Mohun Bagan FC. This merger will allow Mohun Bagan to play in ISL from the next season.

East Bengal has now got their new investor in the form of Benu Gopal Bangur-run cement manufacturer Shree Cement. The deal has been agreed and the announcement has been made yesterday in the presence of Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee. She has helped the club to find a new investor and participate in the ISL.

With new investor on board, East Bengal are ready to make their ISL debut this year in the same time as their city rivals Mohun Bagan.

baichung bhutia Baichung Bhutia: East Bengal has enough time to prepare for the 2020-21 ISL season

Former Indian striker, Baichung Bhutia began his career with East Bengal in 1992 and went on to win every single trophy with the club including one National Football League title and the ASEAN Cup in 2003. He had five different stints with the red and gold brigade between 1993 and 2011.

Bhutia told IANS on Thursday: “I am very happy that finally East Bengal got an investor and are hopeful of playing ISL this year. I am really happy for the fans. They have been praying to see East Bengal play in the top league.”.

He feels East Bengal has enough time to prepare for this season’s ISL. He said: “I think they have enough time. Other teams have also not really started training and some, like Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United, have just appointed their coaches. Even Hyderabad FC had to change.”

“East Bengal have already signed quite a few players, I think. So I don’t think there should be any problem.”.

The player transfer window closes on 20th October and the registration deadline is on 23rd October. East Bengal are yet to appoint a head coach and are still in talks with Spaniard Mario Rivera who guided them to a second-place finish in the truncated I-League last season.

Bhutia hopes East Bngal forgets everything and go and win the ‘trophy’. He said: “I think they have learnt their lessons from the past [with former investors Quess]. I am sure everybody will become more mature now,”.

The former East Bengal player also said if East Bengal do play the ISL this season, he would be eagerly waiting to see the two arch-rivals East Bengal and ATK-Mohun Bagan face each other. He said: “I am very excited to see the derby in the ISL. I can assure you that East Bengal and Mohun Bagan coming to the ISL will bring more charm. It will lift the tournament.”

If ISL can bring the East Bengal – Mohun Bagan derby back then it would definitely see a huge spike in viewership and engagement. The derby would bring in a whole new level of excitement in the tournament which will be played behind closed doors in Goa.

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.



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