AIFF drops second division I-League club over name change

February 27th, 2009 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has scratched Tamil Nadu team Happy Entertainment from the second division of the I-League that starts Saturday after rejecting its request for a name change.
Happy Entertainment, which was in Group C of the second division I-League, at the last moment wanted its name changed to Happy Entertainment Netaji Sports Club. But the AIFF said that according to its rules, a club can’t change its name after it has been registered by the national body.

A top AIFF official told IANS that Happy Entertainment was affiliated to Madurai district football association and was registered by the AIFF in December for the second division I-League.

“At the last moment the club wanted to change its name because they don’t have any registered players with them. All the players are registered with the Netaji Sports Club, which is the Chennai Senior Division league champions. Since they don’t have any players, they decided to merge the club with Netaji Sports Club and requested us to change its name a few days back. But now the AIFF had no other option but to scratch the club,” said the AIFF official.

Happy Entertainment was formed two years ago with some of the members of the Netaji Sports Club.

Happy Entertainment’s managing director Ghulam Hussain, who is also the vice-president of the Netaji Sports Club, said: “First we didn’t want to change the format of Netaji Sports Club because it was a non-profit organisation and clubs in I-League have to be a commercial entity. So we applied for license in the name of Happy Entertainment.

“Two weeks back we merged both the bodies and wanted the AIFF to change the name. And now I am shocked to hear that we have been scratched off from the league. It is shocking news for us,” Hussain said.

Netaji Sports Club’s joint secretary K. Shankar, who was a former FIFA assistant referee, said that it was big set-back for the 63-year-old club.

“We are really very uspet and have learnt a lesson from it,” he added.

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