PANJIM: Churchill Brothers’ prayer for ‘waiver of relegation’ from the I-League was finally answered as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) decided to grant immunity from relegation for the 2018-19 season.
The decision to waive relegation was taken at the Emergency Committee meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“The Emergency Committee meeting after receiving your prayer and the observations of the League Committee decided to waive relegation of Churchill Bros FC from the Hero I-League for the season 2018-19,” says the letter by AIFF to the club.
The Red Machines, under the guidance of new Romania coach Peter Gigui, have already signed four foreigners namely Uganda midfielder Khalid Aucho, Gambian forward Cisse Gwada, Lebanese defender Eldon Hussain and Trinidad & Tobago striker Willis Plaza. The team is on the verge of signing two new players namely Mexican forward David Izazola Ramirez and Bosnian defender Nenad Novakovic.
Churchill Brothers FC is the only team from Goa to play in the I-League after three clubs – Dempo Sports Club, Salgaocar Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa – opted out of the I-League with there being no clear vision for football in India, four years back.
Churchill Bros FC CEO Valanka Alemao while speaking to Herald said that she is very thankful to the Federation as they have considered the club as the very fact that they have contributed to the Indian football and based on contribution to the Western Region.
“This is a very good platform to the youngsters to showcase their talent and something which is very important because at the end of the day Churchill Brothers have contributed immensely to the Indian football and generated a platform to the young football talent. I am very grateful to AIFF President Praful Patel,” she added.
Valanka informed that the two Brazilian Loran dos Santos and Matheus Cambuci Zagueiro may have to return back as coach Peter is not satisfied with their performance.
Churchill Brothers failed to survive the I-League drop last season after losing 0-1 to champions Minerva FC. The two-time former winners finished ninth last season and with AIFF’s developmental squad Indian Arrows having relegation immunity, Churchill Brothers faced the axe. The 12th edition of the I-League will start in October.