Churchill Brothers to consider playing in the ISL if opportunity arises
What’s the story?
Churchill Brothers Sports Club, the only Goan club in the I-League, will consider playing in the up and coming Indian Super League (ISL) if there is an opportunity in the next couple of years.
Club owner Churchill Alemao told the Times of India, “Let’s see what happens in the future. We have spent everything we had on Indian football. Churchill Brothers are now the only Goan team in the I-League and when the All India Football Federation (AIFF) starts one league, we hope to be there as well.”
He also spoke about the struggle to get back into the I-League after a two-year hiatus.
“We have had to struggle to get back into the I-League after being kept out. Our CEO (Valanka Alemao) fought the battle in court and ensured that Goa had a team in the I-League, particularly at a time when all three Goan teams (Dempo SC, Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa) opted out,” Alemao said.
In case you didn’t know…
Churchill Brothers were left out in the cold by the AIFF in 2014 because they failed to fulfil the mandatory club licensing criteria. However, when the three remaining Goan clubs, Salgaocar FC, Dempo Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa, withdrew from the I-League in 2016, the AIFF was forced to consider other options.
Thereby, a decision to reinstate the Red Machines into the premier league was taken at an emergency committee meeting.
The heart of the matter
While speaking about the possibility of playing in the ISL, Churchill Alemao also reflected on the tough times that he and his family had to go through. He conceded that it was not easy to run a football club but the passion for the game kept them going.
He went on to say how his club had always acquired the best foreign players and applauded the AIFF’S decision to increase the foreigners’ quota from four to six for the upcoming season. Alemao promised that they will get some exciting foreigners for the upcoming season who will “make heads turn”.
The AIFF has plans to merge the ISL and the I-League in the near future so as to have just one premier league in the country. For the upcoming season, the ISL has just been expanded to 10 teams. It is set for a second expansion, possibly, in 2019.
Churchill Brothers are one of the most prestigious clubs in Indian football. Should they join the ISL bandwagon, it will certainly excite the traditional followers of Goan football.