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Sad that AIFF has taken I-League clubs for granted: Salgaocar

Jaydeep Basu

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Salgaocar SC withdrew from the I-League in 2016. Photos: Twitter and Google.

Salgaocar SC owner Shivanand Salgaocar says the current state of Indian football pains him

New Delhi: Things were different in 1956. Narendra Damodardas Modi was a six-year-old kid, Elvis Presley’s maiden RCA single “Heartbreak Hotel” had just been released and Indian national football team reached the Olympic semifinals. Most importantly, the words “franchise” and “professional league” were unheard in Indian sport.

This was the time when VM Salgaocar Group of Companies launched Salgaocar Sports Club (now Salgaocar Football Club) with an aim to promote local talent in Goa. In years to come, Salgaocar became one of India’s finest clubs from the western coast – officially crowned the country’s best team more than once.

Jump cut to 2016. Sixty seasons later, after winning the NFL and the I-League once each and the Federation Cup four times, Salgaocar decided to quit I-League, joining the list of 23 clubs, who had either shut shop or had withdrawn from the national scene in recent past.

No one from the authorities approached Salgaocar for a change of decision. They had no time – Indian football had by then discovered the excitement of “franchise-based football”.

Salgaocar SC won the Federation Cup four times, beating East Bengal in the final of the 1997 edition.

The present club owner, Shivanand Salgaocar, is a veteran administrator, who once held top positions both in All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Goa Football Association (GFA). A man of few words though, Shivanand finds the situation sad.

“The current situation very sad for Indian football. Unfortunately, what happens in all sports associations is that once office bearers get elected to any governing body, they tend to forget the association exists for the clubs. They think the clubs exists for them. They take the clubs for granted,” said the former AIFF treasurer.

Shivanand is not far from the truth. After remaining more or less mute spectators to the demise of several traditional clubs, the AIFF is now all set to reduce I-league to the second division.

Shivanand Salgaocar said his club could make a return to the I-League in the future.

“As far as our team is concerned, we withdrew from the I-League primarily because we did not see any road map for I-League teams. In fact, basically, there is no roadmap for Indian football and also for the future of I-League,” said Shivanand.

Asked what should be the right approach in the current situation, the former GFA president said: “That is for the administrators to decide. They should know what went wrong and what should be done to rectify it. In Goa, Dempo, Sporting Clube de Goa and we decided to withdraw from the I-League. We thought it was not going anywhere.”

Shivanand vehemently opposes to any idea that his company has stopped patronizing football. Unlike some other clubs, whose managements, out of sheer frustrations, have switched over to basketball or table tennis, Salgaocar still have 200 players in their rolls.

“My intention was to contribute to the growth of football in a way we thought best. You are free to disagree with me. But that’s our philosophy…. me and my daughter Swati, who takes great interest in youth development.

“We have been promoting football for over 65 years. Even today besides the team which plays in the Goa Pro League, we maintain age-group teams. We have teams in under-10, under-13, under-14, under-16, under-18 and under-20,” Shivanand pointed out.

Salgaocar SC now concentrate on encouraging football at the grass root and maintain several age-group teams.

“If we wanted participate in ISL, we could have joined it from its inception. We don’t know whether I-League will be merged into ISL….basically, no ground rules have been laid down till date. Instead of waiting for the AIFF to take a call on when and how things will pan out, we decided to concentrate on encouraging football at the grass root and promoting local talent,” he added.

Asked whether Salgaocar would return to the national scene in near future, Shivanand said: “I can’t talk about the future. But as and when the circumstances seem appropriate, we might get back into the I-league. Mind it, we have not disbanded the club.”

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Unique Model Academy win big in their Subroto Cup opener

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Action in the Subroto Cup on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Defending Champions Unique Model Academy, Manipur, defeated Ashokenagar Boys Secondary School (H.S.), West Bengal, 4-0 in the Subroto Cup football tournament here on Wednesday.

S Annaroy scored a brace with goals in the 37th and 44th minutes to help his team win the Pool D match.

In another match of the pool, Our Lady Mount Carmel High School, Goa won 2-0 against Air Force School. Our Lady Mount Carmel School scored via Reniel D’ Mello in the 4th Min and Sanford in the 18th minute.

In Pool E, KV Maithon Dam, Ranchi won with the help of goals from Rohit in the 9th min; Aniuet in the 23rd and a brace from Abhilin Kumar in the 36th & 38th min. The score line stood at 4-0 at the end of full-time against Dr YSR Sports School, Andhra Pradesh.

In the second encounter of the pool, it was goals galore as Saidan Secondary School, Mizoram thrashed Tripura Sports School 8-0. Hunmawia scored four goals at the 11th, 18th, 34th & 49th min, F Lalth and B. Romalawma scored a brace each with goals at the 7th & 5th min and 45th & 47th min respectively. Jeremia also chipped in with a goal at the 41st min.

In Pool H, District War Sepngi Christian HSS (DWSC), Meghalaya ended level against Brajbhoomi International School, Gujarat with a score line of 2-2. For DWSC, Shaniahshem – 18th min and Wansmlang – 28th min were the scorers.

Brajbhoomi International School’s goals came from a brace by Rudra Patel in the 36th & 49th min. Major Dhyan Chand Sports College, UP had an easy win against The Sanskaar Valley School, MP as they won by a margin of 6-0. Yash Dwivedi – 08th & 41st min; Suraj Kumar -30th & 39th min and Arjun Yadav – 19th min were the scorers for the team from UP.

In Pool F, NCC NER won by a solitary goal against SAI Kolkata. The goal came from the boot of Raghvender in 44th min. The match ended 1-0 in NCC NER’s favour. In the second match of the pool, Govt. Model High School, Chandigarh defeated MP Sports College, Uttarakhand 3-1.

For Chandigarh, Thongbam Lanchenba scored a brace with goals in the 38th & 40th min. The third goal was added by Thokchom Surjakanta in the 49th min. For Uttarakhand, the only goal was scored by Hemraj in the 22nd min.

In Pool G, It was all level as Govt. Orient HSS Edathanathukara, Kerala played out a 1-1 draw against Betkuchi High School, Assam. Kerala scored through Jangminlal Haokip in the injury time (50+2’ min) whereas, Assam scored with the help of Hari Rabha at the 29th min.

In the second encounter, Mamta Modern Sr. Sec. School, Delhi defeated Sainik School Goalpara, IPSC 2-1 with goals from Abhimanyu – 5th min & Kushagra – 24th min. For Sainik School, Sangeetam Mahanta scored the solitary goal in the 15th min.

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‘Ronaldo paid money to settle sexual assault claim against him’

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current sports news 
Cristiano Ronaldo had been accused by Kathryn Mayorga of sexual assault in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Las Vegas: Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyers have revealed for the first time in court documents that the football superstar paid an amount to settle allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in a hotel in 2009.

According to a CNN report, Kathryn Mayorga said Ronaldo paid $375,000 in a settlement and confidentiality agreement after she accused him of sexual assault. current sports news 

Ronaldo’s legal team acknowledged that the Juventus forward paid $375,000 “to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute” in a motion filed on Friday asking to dismiss Mayorga’s lawsuit. current sports news 

Earlier, Mayorga had claimed to have reached an out of court settlement with the star in 2010, and revealed that she had chosen to speak out against Ronaldo after being inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Ronaldo has always maintained that the encounter was consensual.

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Mohun Bagan, East Bengal to stay out of I-League clubs’ alliance against AIFF?

Jaydeep Basu

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Mohun Bagan
I-League clubs, led by Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, earlier threatened to move court against the AIFF.

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has reasons to feel happy. At last. The club alliance formed to “fight” the “injustice” meted out to them by the national body seems to have shrunken further. If the sources are to be believed, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are now reluctant participants in the group. football news

The suspicion was always there though vehemently denied by officials of all six clubs. There was, however, further confirmation on Tuesday evening. The club officials were in the capital to chalk out a strategy on the proposed legal battle against AIFF. football news

Officials of Churchill Brothers, Minerva FC, Gokulam FC and Aizawl FC were present. There was no sign of the two Kolkata clubs. East Bengal claimed they did send a message expressing their inability to attend. Mohun Bagan maintained a golden silence.

The two century old clubs are not ready to talk. For obvious reasons. But there are people in Indian football, who always love to do the taking. Even on behalf of others. According to them, the “firebrand” officials of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are allegedly working overtime to join the franchise league bandwagon. Sooner or later.

Hence the latest attempt to keep a safe distance from the I-League club alliance. football news

“The two Kolkata clubs have met the franchise league officials in Mumbai and Kolkata recently. More than once and separately. Mohun Bagan were first to meet, followed by East Bengal. Then a senior official of the franchise league flew in to Kolkata for some other work. There were more meetings,” confirmed a senior official.

The I-League is in danger of losing its relevance in Indian football.

What exactly transpired in the meetings is not known. But it was something more than exchanging pleasantries. Sources said both clubs made it clear they were not against joining ISL. One of them would love to see it happen immediately. The other is ready to wait, to weigh the pros and cons. The approach is different, but they are looking for the same result.

Not that they receive any definite assurance. But century-old experience has made them learn that patience is a virtue.

Going by the latest development, the AIFF must receive a compliment. At least a left-handed one. In July, when it bowed to the wishes of the franchise league and virtually made I-League a non-entity, it knew it was in no danger. The rebellion will die down soon. The bigger the tradition of a club, the faster it will crawl back!

I-League club officials are not ready to accept their alliance is as fragile as an egg. “We have no reason to believe our unity has been broken. It is intact. We are in regular touch with each other. Just because some people did not turn up for one meeting does not mean they have deserted the group,” claimed one of them.

Well, not many in Indian football is ready to buy the theory. Big brothers have left you in the lurch, they say. With a hearty laugh.

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