New Delhi: After Minerva Punjab, it is now NEROCA FC that could shut shop owing to All India Football Federation’s (AIIF) failure at managing the growing unrest with the I-League clubs. Minerva Punjab are on the verge of closing down after they were denied a venue to host AFC Cup matches at the eleventh hour.
The situation has gone from bad to worse for Indian club football with NEROCA FC becoming the second club in four days to threaten shutting down operations in the face of despair. With I-League seemingly going to be relegated into second division next season, the club has issued an ultimatum stating that it cannot operate like that after all the hard work it had done to get into the first division two years back.
“What’s happening with Indian football!! After so much of hard work and investment we qualified for the top league in 2017 and Just after playing 2 seasons of it if we are put to play the second division once again there is no other option then to shut down our beloved club !! We may not be rich with money but definitely we are Rich with footballing talents !! But guess indian football is only about money now !! No room for hardworking clubs,” NEROCA FC wrote on their official Facebook page.
The Imphal-based North Eastern Re-Organising Cultural Association Football Club (NEROCA FC) had made its debut in the I-League 2nd Divison in the 2015-16 season and managed to win the league the very next year to go up to the I-League. They are also the only club from the Northeast to get into the final of the Durand Cup.
When asked club owner and CEO Naoba Singh about the decision to shut the huge organization altogether, he said, “It’s a serious note. There is no place for club like ours in Indian football where only criteria to be in top league is Rs 15 crore. We worked hard and earned the spot in the top tier and if we have to play again in second division then what are we going to play for?”