Saturday, July 13, 2013

South United pulls out of I-League

Professional football club from Bangalore, South United has decided to pull out of the I-League 2nd division. This decision was officially taken yesterday. However, South United would still continue playing in BDFA league. 

There are manifold reasons for this decision, primarily being one of the outcomes of the AIFF emergency meeting (held in the last week of May) - Clubs would require paying for their travel and staying for I-League Second Division qualifying round. Also, heard that the club yet to sign any new players officially.  

AIFF’s act of not supporting the I-League Second Division clubs financially didn't go well with the South United club management. Also, all the Second Division clubs were to submit a participating fee of Rs.1,00,000 by July 15. 

First Southern (Samity) and now South (United) – this is the state of I-League Second Division! 
One might remember a couple of weeks back, another Second Division team from Kolkata, Southern Samity, decided to disband their team owing to lack of fund. Their decision was however, rolled back after Samity’s President and current Sports Minister of Bengal, Madan Mitra assured them of getting a sponsor. 

South coach Raman Vijayan showed his annoyance when spoke to him last week. He was irked by the AIFF’s apathy toward clubs. Their decision came as a surprise and perhaps a backward step. 

South United fared reasonably well in BDFA Super Division, came second, missed championship closely. The results in local league encouraged them to play in I-League Second Division qualifier which was held in Bangalore. With an average age of their players being 24 and playing without any foreigners, they finished at the middle of the table (7 points from 7 games). 

South United plans to go back to the basics – grassroots and plan to invest money consciously towards developing youth footballers.  

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