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Dempo SC not keen on playing in the I-league

Rohan Menon
702   //    26 Aug 2015, 00:51 IST
Dempo’s decline their chance to return to the I-League

Dempo Sports Club are not keen on playing in the I-League this season even if AIFF are willing to give them a backdoor entry, according to the Times of India. As Pune FC and Bharat FC have not yet confirmed their stance in the upcoming season, other arrangements have to be made to ensure the minimum number of teams are present in the league.

The two clubs have reportedly shut down their senior team and both of them insinuated AIFF’s lack of vision for the current turnout of events. If the two teams are to continue with their plan, then the league will have a shortage of teams and that would reduce the standard of the league as a whole. 

One of the ideas proposed to remedy this situation was to bring back Dempo SC who were relegated after Salgaocar FC defeated them 2-0 on the final day. The Goan club though are not keen on returning to the I-League in the current conditions.

The club was one of the most dominant teams in the I-League prior to their relegation. They won the I-League in 2008, 2010, and 2012, which is the most championships any individual team has won. The also won are the Federation Cup in 2004, and the Indian Super Cup in 2008 and 2010.

Club chairman Shrinivas Dempo in an interview with Times of India said, "We have not given it a thought but looks difficult because all our resources, strategy and budget are based on playing in the second division." 

Dempo to focus on their youth

Due to their relegation the team was unable to retain most of their foreign and national players and had to sell most of them to other I-League clubs. The only player they currently have is Nigerian defender Chika Wali, who was signed from Mumbai FC. The other signing by the club though have mostly been local Goan players.

The club’s current strategy is to improve their youth and has diverted most of its resources towards youth development. “Our team is already formed. We have cut down our budget for the (senior) team and have diverted a lot of resources towards youth development,” said Dempo. 

Katz Naido has been appointed the Technical Director of Dempo and is tasked with helping Dempo return to their former glory. The South African previous work experience includes working with Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) for a year.

"We had a full-fledged presentation with Naido a couple of days ago and he provided us with an elaborate programme. We want to focus on youth development. Nobody has approached us (from the AIFF) to fill the I-League slot but it will be very very difficult to compete in the first division," said Dempo.

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