Bangladesh skipper Mamunul Islam may become the first Bangladeshi footballer to have a stint with Atletico de Kolkata in the Indian Super League (ISL), a franchise-based football league, scheduled to be held from October to December this year in India.
Mamunul yesterday informed the media of his registration with the Kolkata-based franchise, one of eight franchises in the inaugural edition of the league, co-owned by former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and Spanish Primera Liga champions Atletico Madrid. However, no official confirmation has been made by the franchise.
Mamunul, also the skipper of Bangladesh Premier League champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, informed media yesterday that his name has been registered on the last day of registration on Sunday and the formal signing will be done in Dhaka next week.
“I am very happy to be selected for Atletico de Kolkata football club in the ISL. Talks with the club had been going on for the last few months, but since the name was registered yesterday, I can now announce that I will be a part of the team in the prestigious league,” said Mamunul over phone from Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan, Savar while preparing for the national U-23 team's assignment in the Asian Games later this month.
“The contract will be signed on either September 5 or 6 in Dhaka in presence of Atletico de Kolkata officials. My club's (Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club) president Manzur Kader gave his consent for the deal after I told him about my intention to play there.
However, when contacted, a source inside the Atletico de Kolkata franchise, on condition of anonymity, informed that even though talks regarding Mamunul have reached an advanced stage, no decision over recruiting him has been made. The final decision on whether Mamunul will be recruited will be made by the franchise's coach Antonio Lopez Habas, who is currently training the squad at the Los Angeles De San Rafael training ground in Madrid.
The inaugural edition of the ISL is expected to kick off on October 12 and December 20 is a tentative date for the final. Atletico de Kolkata, the biggest-spending of the eight franchises, have announced former Spanish international Luis Garcia as their marquee player.