GANGTOK, 18 May: Sikkim Football Association [SFA] C Division Sikkim League 2019 will be kicked off on here at Paljor Stadium on Monday. Twelve teams from all four districts have been participating in this fortnight-long league. The participating teams have been divided into two groups to play league matches and winner of each group will finally take each other for the top spot of the C Division.

Group ‘A’ teams area Red Panda Football Club, Namchi, Manik FC, Dzongu, Queen Valley FC, Penlong, Sumin FC, Sanju Football Academy, Sombaria and Namthang FC, while JVC Singtam, Mustang FC, Sang, Ranipool FC, NDFA, Mangan, Brotherhood FC and Sikkim Boys, Gangtok have been place in Group ‘B’.

Red Panda FC, Namchi will take on Manik Football Club, Dzongu in the inaugural match at 12 noon on 20 May, which will be followed by other match of the day between JVC Singtam and Mustang Football Club, Sang.  

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, SFA chief coordinator, Phurba Sherpa stated that this time SFA has given the entry to only registered club with the State government in the C division league of the State. He informed that two matches will be played on each day of the league except on 23 and 24 May as there will be no match following the election counting in the State. He informed that group topper of each group will take each other in the final match on 08 June for the champion’s title of C division. However, top two teams of the league will be promoted to SFA B Division Sikkim League.

Mr Sherpa mentioned that SFA has been working to organise the qualifying round of the C Division league in all four districts from next season and only top two teams from each district will participate in the final round of the league at Gangtok. He stated that C division league in the district level will get more participation and motivate more young players and local people of each district will also get an opportunity to witness game of players from their respective district.

The C division league will be followed by the SFA Second Division League 2019 from 23 to 28 June here at Paljor Stadium. SFA chief coordinator informed that only four teams were in the second division this time, which are SAI Namchi, Howler’s FC Singtam, Dzongri Sporting Club and Young Orchid [Sikkim Police B team]. “This time coach with D licence is mandatory and only the winner will be promoted to the premier division Sikkim League,” he said.

Mr Sherpa informed that finally the Premier Division Sikkim-League 2019 will be played from 18 August to 22 September this year. Teams in the fray for the champion title this season are United Sikkim Football Club, Sikkim Aakraman FC, Boys Club, State Sports Academy, Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club, Unicorn FC, Sikkim Police and Rongneck Kumar Sporting. He added that coach having minimum D licence was mandatory for the participating team. He added that the only one team, which will finish the league the bottom in the points tally, will be relegated to second division.  

 “Sikkim will constitute a selection committee comprises of senior football coaches and former footballers to shortlist players from the participating teams in the premier division to make a strong State team for upcoming Santosh Trophy,” Mr Sherpa said. 

By Sagar Chettri

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