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'Doors Still Open to Play ISL 2020-21': East Bengal 80 Per Cent Sure on New Investor Coming on Board

East Bengal

East Bengal

East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar said they had made headway into negotiations with a potential sponsor.

Despite coronavirus pandemic hitting plans and Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 expected to be played between 10 teams only, East Bengal had not lost hopes of making it into the top-flight of Indian football.

East Bengal have been on the lookout for a new investor ever since the partnership with Quess fell apart, and the club's executive member Debabrata Sarkar said they were hopeful of financial woes coming to an end soon.

Sarkar also stated that they still have the chance of entering this season's ISL.

"See the doors are still open for us to play in this seasons' ISL. Earlier we were 50 percent confident of playing in the ISL but now definitely there has been headway into negotiations for a potential sponsor and we are 80 percent sure now," Sarkar told indianexpress.com.

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"The pandemic is leading to the delay and I hope fans understand that. We are all trying to get this deal through and announce a new investor," he added.

Earlier, reports stated that ISL will stick to 10 teams due to operational constraints following the pandemic, which signalled an end of the road for East Bengal.

However, any official announcement regarding the matter is yet to be made.

This season's ISL will be held at a single venue based on the concept of a bio-secure environment November onwards and Goa and Kerala are the frontrunners to be the hosts.

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ISL was expected to release the official dates and venue for the season after the August 7 meeting but due to "technical reasons", the meeting was postponed to August 10.

Ex-East Bengal coach Subhash Bhowmick believed that the reason for the delay in meeting was that "FSDL is waiting for East Bengal."

"Those who run FSDL are not foolish. They know how much viewership East Bengal can bring and how FSDL/ Star Sports would benefit from TV TRP if East Bengal joins ISL," he told Xtratime.

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