With 8 Teams, 6 Districts, 2 venues and 1 champion and a total prize money of 1 million.
By Dichen Ongmu Bhutia. The author is a Sikkim based journalist. She can be contacted at email@example.com
A group of former international footballers came together and formed Football Development Pvt. Ltd. They then had a meeting with sports enthusiast Chief Minister PS Tamang who wholeheartedly welcomed their approach to promote football in the State.
Concept, Organisers & funding
- FDPL also the promoters of Sikkim Premier League (SPL) organises Sikkim Premier League under the aegis of Government of Sikkim and Teesta Urja Ltd. The Board members are International footballers namely Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan, Bikash Jairu, Robin Gurung, and Nim Tshering Lepcha. The concept of organizing the Sikkim Premier League is to create enormous openings for the entertainment of the masses, besides providing ample opportunities for the youth revitalizing the football and club culture in Sikkim, it is said.
Why is SPL the need of the hour ?
- For the past four years Sikkim Football has been at halt with no leagues and tournaments directly putting up risk at careers of Sikkimese emerging footballers. “The nil development in football here has saddened us and coming from a professional footballing career, we know the benefits of it, therefore a platform like SPL for our boys because they deserve it”, shared one of the Board members.
Who is competing for the maiden SPL ?
- The participating teams comprises of regulars Aakraman FC (Gangtok), Sinolchu FC (Namchi) & Red Panda FC (Namchi) followed by new clubs such as Sikkim Dragons (Gangtok), Vajra North United (Mangan), Brothers FC (Geyzing), Singling FC (Soreng), Pakyong District FC.
When & Where ?
- SPL is likely to kick start in mid-January with the motto of ‘Together for Sikkim Football’ and with sole aim to revive Sikkim football and provide a platform to the Sikkimese footballers. The three and a half month long tourney will witness 59 matches during weekends in Paljor Stadium and Bhaichung Stadium simultaneously.
Procedure to rope in the players?
- Thirty potential players have already been shortlisted by FDPL for drafting. Each participating club will pick three draft players.
How will SPL benefit the football scene in Sikkim ?
- SPL will bring in club culture which is also the vision of the Chief Minister. This will create a professional environment for the players as well as the clubs. The players will be assured of their earnings before the season starts. Also the clubs will benefit with better prize money and more sponsorship deals. It will also generate short term employment opportunities.
Future plans of FDPL?
- SPL will scout ten best players who will be sent for trials in Hero ISL and I-league apart from men footballers, the new organisation will also host women league & kids football tournaments followed by North-East knockout champion league.
The FDPL board members expressed their gratitude to the Chief Minister PS Tamang for the motivation, support and guidance extended to the Board in organizing SPL.
Further they have appealed to the Sikkimese audience to make the league even grander by celebrating their home teams.