What’s the story?
Indian Super League team FC Pune City have entered into a strategic alliance with Chanmari Football Club, which is based in Aizawl.
The CEO of FC Pune City, Gaurav Modwel, had this to say, “This partnership will enable Chanmari FC to set up youth teams and thereby benefit local Mizoram players to train from a young age in a professional environment, according to the ISL team.
“I truly see this as a historic step in our short journey of three years. We are committed towards development of youth football at all levels.
“We put great value in partnerships like this and we look forward to committing our resources to develop and foster an environment where we and Chanmari FC can work together for the greater good of Mizoram football.”
Andrew Lalremkima, Board Secretary of Chanmari FC said, “We have been committed to growing the game and developing young players in Mizoram for the last six years and we see this as the next step in continuing that growth both for the youth players of Chanmari as well as that of the state of Mizoram.”
FC Pune City is owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group. Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and Italian club ACF Fiorentina are its co-owners. A media release from the Pune team said that as part of the partnership, there will be close co-operation between the first teams, academies, youth development, training support and scouting projects.
The heart of the matter
Chanmari Football Club are the current champions of Mizoram Premier League. This semi-professional club takes part in the Mizoram Premier League, the top tier league of the state. They had previously participated in a national level competition when they competed in the I-League 2nd Division in 2015.
The club, founded in 2011, plays their matches at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
The most significant aspect of this arrangement would provide a platform for players of Chanmari FC to play for FC Pune City at some stage in the future, the ISL team said. As part of the association, FC Pune City will assist the Aizawl-based club in building a youth structure by providing them with coaches and equipment for training.
Mizoram is going through a golden period as far as football is concerned. Aizawl FC created history by becoming the first team from Mizoram and indeed, the entire North-East to win the I-League.
Mizoram Premier League already has a great fan following and this partnership will go a long way in establishing youngsters from Mizoram in the national structure.