South United Football Club’s unprecedented appeal for a place into the 2019/20 I-League Second Division through direct entry was turned down. The existing system of the league only allows for two clubs from a state to be nominated for the I-League Second Division licensing process.
Currently, within this framework if any of the 11 clubs selected from across India fail to meet AIFF’s licensing requirements, there’s no provision to identify alternatives.
Speaking in light of the AIFF announcement, Club Director Sharan Parikh said, “We are heavily invested in developing talent for Indian Football and want to continuously test ourselves at a competitive level. So of course, we’re disappointed to miss out on I-League Second Division football, having diligently prepared for it. However, we appreciate the AIFF considering our appeal for direct entry and respect their response.”
Having started their pre-season in June, South United FC are equipped to compete in the 2019/20 Second Division. The team gave a good account of themselves when invited to play pre-season fixtures against opposition such as Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters FC, and FC Goa who fielded many of their ISL players in the games.
The club competed in the previous edition of the Second Division, having comprehensively fulfilled all the licensing criteria. Since then, the club have added significantly to their ranks, bringing on board Technical Director Terry Phelan, Coach Alfredo Fernandes, and Analyst Xavier Fernandez.
South United’s newly constructed, state of the art, international standard facility in the heart of Bengaluru is set to host the BDFA Division ‘A’ tournament. The club is also working with the AIFF to make the new facility a hub for footballing development and build one cohesive Youth Development system in the pursuit of long-term success of the sport.