We are not quitting, says NEROCA FC president Thangjam Arunkumar

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We are not quitting, says NEROCA FC president Thangjam Arunkumar

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SportsCafe Desk

06/04/2019

NEROCA FC president Thangjam Arunkumar is adamant that he is still working on sorting things out with the club despite their main sponsors pulling out and no senior squad available. Former India footballer and captain, Renedy Singh, was also released from his responsibility as head coach.

Imphal-based NEROCA FC had earlier put up a message on their social media where they threatened to shut down their beloved club due to the bothersome atmosphere of Indian domestic football. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) imposed a Rs 10 lakh fine on them for boycotting the Super Cup in Bhubaneswar. 

Though the club management is trying their best to field a team in the top tier of 2019-20 domestic season like the previous two seasons but they have no senior squad and are without a head coach as well. In addition to that, Classic Group of Hotels, their chief sponsors till April, have parted ways with the north-east based side.

"We are without any senior players right now. We had no option but to release all of them last month since we don't have any money to retain one. It's really sad for us — the club management and the players as well, especially the local Indian players — to suddenly look at a bleak future only two years after being promoted to the top tier of Indian football. But the situation is not in our hands, you know. Let's see what we can do, it's all in the family.

"We are not quitting. Classic Group is not with us but we are looking for big sponsors. We have even talked to the government for funding. However, more round of talks are needed to materialise anything. Nothing could be finalised because of the elections. We will sit with the chief minister (N Biren Singh) again this month. So, any decision can be taken only after June," NEROCA FC president Thangjam Arunkumar told TOI in a recent interview.

Earlier, former India captain Renedy Singh who was appointed as head coach just before the Super Cup was also relieved from his duties. Arunkumar is a hopeful to land a sponsorship deal and their former local players can always play for NEROCA.

"Though we have released them, we have requested the local players to wait till early next month so that we can give them the contracts as and when we get a sponsor. We are in touch with all our ex-players, some would have gone to other teams anyway but most of them will play for us. Regarding foreigners, we can anyway look for different set of players according to our budget, so that won't be a problem," Arunkumar added.

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