Dubai-owned club given I-League slot

Dodsal-run Mumbai Tigers set to join JSW in Indian top flight from next season

Gulf News

Dubai: UAE-owned Mumbai Tigers have been provisionally accepted to join the 2013/14 I-League after successfully bidding to fill one of two vacant slots in India’s premier football division.

Funded by Dubai-based Dodsal Group, the club will join Bengaluru-based Jindal South West (JSW) next season after state-owned Air India and ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) were barred from the league on grounds of commercial viability.

Both Mumbai Tigers and JSW bid around $36.8 million (Dh135 million) to be included in the league next season. They will be exempt from relegation for five years provided they start construction of a stadium and academy by 2015. A third bid from a Kerala-based consortium has yet to be given clearance.

Meanwhile, English side Queens Park Rangers were handed a tentative offer to launch a sister club in Chennai, which could compete in the I-League from 2014/15.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said: “The reason to induct new corporate teams into the I-League was not only to spread the I-League to new venues but also to address the infrastructure and youth development issues plaguing Indian football. We are confident that we will be able to handle these issues through the new teams.”

Meanwhile, UAE-based businessman Ronnie Weymes, the managing director of Multi Valve Technology in Dubai, has confirmed that he is part of an independent group holding informal talks with Scottish Second Division side Dunfermline Athletic to see if he can help lift the club out of administration.

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