Indian football fraternity shocked at JCT’s decisionJune 20th, 2011 - 11:18 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Indian football fraternity was shocked and dismayed at JCT’s decision to disband their 40-year-old Phagwara-based club, which has produced some stalwarts like Inder Singh and Sukhwinder Singh.
Stars like I.M. Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Carlton Chapman and Bhaichung Bhutia couldn’t believe that the club where they flourished was closing due to lack of mileage from the I-League.
The quartet played a crucial role in JCT’s triumph in the 1996 inaugural national league.
Bhutia, former India captain, said that unless AIFF finds ways to make the I-League a “commercial success”, more corporates would pull out.
“In 1996, when we won the inaugural National Football League, it was the golden period of JCT football. Myself, Vijayan, Jo-Paul (Ancheri), Carlton Chapman, Tejinder Kumar formed the core. I am definitely sad at the development of events as long as things don’t improve, more clubs will go the JCT way,” Bhutia said.
“The corporates have been spending money without any return. But how long. I am sad but not surprised,” Bhutia said.
Vijayan said JCT was one of the well-managed clubs in India.
“It is indeed sad. We played for JCT and it is such a well managed club. When they have taken the decision it must be backed by some commercial thoughts,” he said.
Ancheri said that JCT’s decision to disband was the last thing that Indian football needed.
“It is bad advertisement for Indian football. This is no way to go forward. JCT is such a glorious club. We have won so many trophies with the club. It is a very sad day in my life,” he said.
Footballers at the national camp were also shocked when they heard about JCT’s decision.
Former JCT players Sunil Chettri, Karanjit Singh, Baldeep Singh and Gurwinder Singh, who were training at the Ambedkar Stadium, couldn’t believe that curtains are down on the nursery of Punjab football.
Delhi boy Chettri said it was a massive blow for the sport in the country.
“It is a massive blow for the sport in the country. Today several players including me owe a lot to JCT. They have given several players to other Indian clubs and I think their loss will be irreplaceable,” the former Kansas City striker said.
I-League champions’ goalkeeper Karanjit, who spent seven years at the club, said JCT’s absence will be irreplaceable.
“I can’t believe that JCT is closing down. Their contribution to Indian football is huge. Today every club has a Punjab player, thanks to JCT,” said the former JCT captain.
India coach Armando Colaco, who is also the secretary general of Dempo, said it was high time for AIFF to look after the interest of the corporates.
“I run a club, and I can tell that corporates are spending only for the sake of their passion. Last years Mahindra pulled out, this year JCT did now. Other corporates including Dempo will think, why are we here. These are not good signs for Indian football,” he said.
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Tags: ambedkar, bhaichung bhutia, chapman, commercial success, corporates, curtains, day in my life, golden period, inder singh, indian football, massive blow, national football league, New Delhi, punjab, quartet, sad day, spending money, stalwarts, sukhwinder singh, vijayan