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Notes from the I-League 2020-21 [Round 5]

I-League 2020-21 Round 5
Chennai City FC players celebrate after Elvedin Skrijelj’s header put them ahead in their I-League encounter against Indian Arrows.
Pic Courtesy: @ILeagueOfficial

Gokulam Kerala enters FIFA’s naughty list and is the I-League a knockout tournament? Plus, why would a club name itself after a road?

Caught Chitting

Gokulam Kerala has made it to FIFA’s naughty list and faces a probable ban for two transfer windows. It all began with the non-payment of salary to one of their former players Malemnganba Meitei.

Signed on a two-year deal in 2019 the player was told that he was surplus to requirements a year later. The player then went ahead and lodged a complaint with FIFA claiming that his contract was unilaterally terminated without any valid reason.

Imagine getting caught on the wrong side of a corrupt organization like FIFA. Couldn’t the parent company just raised some cash through their chit funds and saved the embarrassment?

I-League: The knockout tournament

Welcome to India’s knockout tournament that is played in a league format. That’s the I-League according to the AFC.

Confused? So are we. So I suggest you read this thread instead:

To be fair, the I-League does have some form of knockout as the bottom-placed team find themselves out the door. Unlike the other league where finishing last means you get a certificate of participation.

Down the Tiddim Road, Mr Churchill

Tiddim Road Athletic Union is an interesting name for a club. But then, there is a weight of history in that name.

For starters, Tiddim (Tedim) is located in Myanmar.

Tiddim Road was a common route of passage used by the people of Manipur to go to Tiddim, a town that shared a common ethnicity and language before the British drew a boundary between what is now India and Myanmar.

During the Second World War, the Japanese troops marched towards Imphal through this route in 1944. What followed next were some of the fiercest – and less talked about – battles of the war.

Given the importance of the name of the road in the country’s history, TRAU FC now sounds like a badass name for a club.

In the latest round of the I-League, they played out a 1-1 draw against Churchill Brothers in the “Vague Connection to WWII” Derby.

You know Churchill, the former Chief Minister of Goa after whom the club has been named after but also shared his name with Prime Minister of Britain in WWII.

The similarity between the politicians Winston Churchill and Churchill Alemao ends when the latter flashed a “V for Victory” sign at the cameras when he was caught in a scandal.

Streets Will Never Forget

Remember the shithousery from last week where Gokulam Kerala FC’s Sharif Mohammed kicked the ball to the side-lines in a show of petulance?

The official I-League twitter account has gone full revisionist history when they put up the highlights of the match and opted to gloss over the penalty incident.

In fact they did one better: They did not show the spot kick being scored at all.

Skip to 1:40 in the video above. The score is 3-0, the penalty is won, then BAM! It’s 4-0.  No sign of the spot kick being taken.

They are trying real hard to help us forget that such an incident ever happened. As fascist as their decision might seem, please remember, that the internet does not forget.

The Goal Scoring Ratio

Only six goals were scored in the fifth round of the I-League. Three by foreign signings and three by Indian players.

Clayvin Zuniga, the top scorer for the league with 5 goals found the back of the net for Churchill again.  Elvedin Škrijelj of Chennai City scored his second while Judah Garcia from Garcia Bros. Inc of NEROCA scored his first

As for the Indians, Aizawl FC’s PC Laldinpuia scored his first, while MC Malsawmzuala scored his second goal of the league. TRAU’s Bidyashagar Singh also bagged his second of the league with a sweet finish.

The overall tally after round five looks like this:

Foreign players – 30
Indian players – 25
Own goals – 3

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