Bhaichung Bhutia co-owned former I-League outfit United Sikkim Football Club has shut down its operations after 15 years. The club was only the second team from the North-Eastern region to play in the I-League, the top tier of the Indian football structure back then, after Shillong Lajong FC.
The former India International along with co-owners Arjun Rai and Sherap Lepcha made the official announcement during a press conference at the Football House, in Gangtok, on Sunday.
“It was not easy but very painful to take the decision of shutting down the club but the decision has been taken after a thorough discussion on different aspects,” said Bhaichung, reported Times of India.
Bhaichung informed that there were two main reasons to close down the club. Firstly, they wanted to focus on grassroots development and secondly, there was a conflict of interest since two of the clubs’ members were a part of the State Football Association.
“We want now to focus more on grassroots football by organising coaching camps and tournaments at the grassroots level. Secondly, there has been huge conflict of interests since two of us are now a part of Sikkim Football Association,” Bhutia added.
Co-founders Bhaichung Bhutia and Arjun Rai are currently in the executive body of the Sikkim Football Association (SFA). The former explained that it would not be fair if they run a club which plays leagues and tournaments organised by the SFA.
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