The upcoming I-League season starting in December this year could have two new teams. Chennai's Nethaji SC will put Tamil Nadu back on the football map after being out of the scene for a while and Hyderabad's Rendezvous Sports Group will make their debut should the two teams make the cut for the 2014-15 season.
The two teams could make it to the league in the backdrop of the I-League being reduced to ten teams after three clubs were axed after failing the club licensing criteria.
"Nethaji SC from Chennai and Hyderabad's Rendezvous Sports Group should make the cut," said an I-league official. "Bengaluru FC and Mumbai Tigers made their debut last season. This year, Nethaji and Rendezvous may join the elite group while Royal Wahingdoh FC from Shillong has been promoted from second division," he said.
Hyderabad will be back on the fold, what with many of their footballers forming the nucleus of the Indian team that took part in three Olympics – 1952 (Helsinki), 1956 (Melbourne) and 1960 (Rome).
"Should Nethaji SC make the cut, it will be good news for us as this will get Tamil Nadu team back in Indian league," said B Ravikumar David, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Football Association.
"But things are not yet clear," said the secretary about the team making back entry into Indian league. The last team from Tamil Nadu that made it to the league was Indian Bank.