I-League football will return to Bengaluru from the upcoming season after the AIFF Executive Committee decided to grant direct entries to five corporate entities, including Nimida United Sports Development Pvt.s Ltd which runs FC Bengaluru United.
AIFF approved a budget of ₹134 crore for 2023-24. It accepted all five bids for this season's I-League, making it a 16-team competition with teams from Varanasi and Ambala, and decided to resume the Federation Cup.
Bengaluru FC's 2016-17 season was the last time the city witnessed I-League football.
The other four establishments to secure entries on Monday are YMS Finance Pvt. Ltd. (Varanasi), Namdhari Seeds Pvt. Ltd. (Bhaini Sahib Village, Punjab), Concatenate Advest Advisory Pvt. Ltd. (Delhi) and Bunkerhill Pvt Ltd (Ambala, Haryana).
The Executive Committee, which met here on the sidelines of the SAFF Championship, also made a decision to revive the Federation Cup after a gap of six seasons.
Ever since the new AIFF Executive committee took over, there has been a concerted effort to bring back legacy tournaments, and the return of the Federation Cup from the 2023-24 season is to be seen in this light.
It will be India's premier cup competition, a status the Super Cup has enjoyed in the last few years.
Also on the day, Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) general secretary M. Satyanarayan was offered the role of AIFF deputy secretary general.
The post has been vacant since Sunando Dhar quit earlier this year citing personal commitments.
Satyanarayan has been a member in the I-League committee so far and has been the KSFA general secretary since August 2019.