East Bengal – Shree Cements dispute: Giants SC East Bengal have been set a one-week deadline by the Indian Football Association (IFA) to confirm their participation in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division. The Indian Super League (ISL) side are currently engaged in a tussle with their investors Shree Cements over the transfer of sporting rights. Failure to participate in the CFL will lead to the relegation of the red-and-gold brigade to a lower division informed the IFA.
IFA secretary Joydeep Mukherjee said on Monday that SC East Bengal will face relegation if they pull out of the CFL slated to begin in the third week of August. As per PTI, Mukherjee said, “We want football to resume, many players, officials are affected (by the pandemic). We don’t want to deprive any club and for one club CFL won’t stop.” The IFA secretary added that East Bengal had seven days to inform and a failure to do so will see the CFL continue with 13 teams.
East Bengal – Shree Cements dispute: He added, “Initially, we had decided to stop relegation but if competitions happen in all divisions, then there will be relegation and the team which pulls out will be relegated to the lower division. It will be a big blow and there are chances that SCEB will face relegation.” Representatives of all 13 teams and Mukherjee were present at a meeting on Monday, with East Bengal giving it a miss citing “personal inconvenience”.
East Bengal – Shree Cements dispute: East Bengal’s ownership conflict with Shree Cements has severely impacted their squad building plans ahead of the ISL 2021 season, with their participation in the league also in major doubt. As for the CFL, Joy Mukherjee said that for the interest of the league the Indian Football Association were willing to negotiate with the club as long as “they come to us”.
The Calcutta Football League will be resuming this season after last year’s edition was called off amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament will see a new format, with fourteen teams set to be divided into two groups with the top three from each group earning a direct quarter-final berth. The remaining eight teams will then play with each other and the top two would complete the last eight teams with the tournament scheduled to get over in October.