New Delhi: Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC get direct entries in the forthcoming I-League. AIFF Bid Evaluation Committee met at the AIFF HQ in New Delhi on Sunday to evaluate the five bids submitted after the retendering was initiated on November 25, 2016.
The five clubs (Neroca FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Sudeva FC, FC Bardez Goa & Chennai City FC) submitted their bids and based on the evaluation of their proposals, the Bid Evaluation Committee decided to award Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC the right to field their teams in I-League season 2016-17 which is slated to commence on January 7, 2017. The other three clubs Neroca FC, Sudeva FC & FC Bardez Goa didn’t qualify the financial criteria.
“I, on the behalf of AIFF, welcome Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC to the I-League family and we all hope that we will have a competitive I-League”, Mr Kushal Das stated to the aiff.com.
Meanwhile, Minerva Punjab FC have already plied their trade in the Second Division League 2015-16 having secured the second position. Mr. Das added more, “With Chennai City FC & Minerva Punjab FC joining the fray now, we have ten teams competing in the next I-League. Now, we have representatives from Chennai and Punjab, which means we’ll reach out to more supporters and newer markets.”
Mr. Sunando Dhar also sounded ‘happy’ with these clubs’ inclusion.
“Yes, of course, I’m happy. New teams from two new venues will add a newer dimension to I-League and they will get a chance to rub shoulders with the top clubs of Indian Football”, Mr. Dhar commented.
Chennai City Football Club is owned by Rohit Ramesh and plays in the First Division of Chennai Football Association League. The club finished at the top position in the league. Recently the club released its theme song (Goal-Podu) composed by famous Bollywood music composer Vishal Dadlani and also features Tamil star Kashif.