Mumbai may return to I-League fold with U Mumba; AIFF to float tender

Mumbai may mark its presence in the I-League football competition after a two-year gap. Ronnie Screwvala-owned USports are keen on fielding their football side U Mumba in the I-League. The All-India Football Federation will open the window of opportunity by floating a tender to induct a Mumbai team in the I-League.

U Mumba has attained the basic qualification criteria for the I-League. The team had finished in the top half of the on their Mumbai District Football Association Elite Division debut this year. The club is thus eligible to enter into I-League 2.

U Sports CEO Supratik Sen has, however, told national daily Times of India that I League has always been the club’s goal.

“We feel that football in Mumbai has tremendous potential and it’s imperative that we have a team in the I-League. Just when fans started coming to the stadium in large numbers for the I-League games, Mumbai FC got relegated and the city didn’t have a team in the league anymore,” Sen has told national daily Times of India. The paper has also quoted I-League CEO Sunando Dhar as saying that the AIFF would float a tender for the introduction of a team and if U Mumba fulfilled all the criteria, they would be given the go-ahead.

“Yes, we’ve received their application that they are interested in putting a team in the ILeague. They’ll have to follow the bid process. We’re looking for a team from a city which doesn’t have a team already. Mumbai doesn’t and we would love to have a team from there,” Dhar told the national daily.

Mumbai Football Club was the last team to represent the business capital of India in the I-League.