The official launch of the new I-League division II club United Sikkim was completed at Kolkata on Tuesday. Thanks to club patron Bhaichung Bhutia, the North-East will now get another club hovering to get into the top tier of Indian football.
Playing in their first I-League second division campaign starting from next month, Bhutia is confident that his club can do well both on and off the field.
United Sikkim has signed some big names. Renedy Singh, N S Manju, M Suresh, Bijen Singh, Lalrinfela, B Beiokhokhei, Buddiram Tudu and Bhaichung Bhutia himself make up the illustrious list of Indian stars in the team’s roster.
Foreign recruits have also been upto the mark as Liberian striker Johny Menyongar has impressed already. Irish international striker Joseph Lapira, who was earlier rejected by East Bengal, has also joined the team.
Meanwhile Brazilian midfielder Adalbarto Prado and a Japanese defender is also expected to be a part of the United Sikkim squad.
Shillong Lajong SC had exposed the raw potential and mass interest for football that exists in the Nort-East last season. For United Sikkim the same things can be expected as they have already received support from different parts of the world.
Dubai based Sports and Media investment company FidelisWorld has been the main investors for the club and by launching United Sikkim SC they officially make their entry into the Indian sports sector.
Speaking about their idea behind investing on such a club, FidelisWorld Chairmain Anand S Krishnan said, “FidelisWorld is privileged to be partnering with India’s own football superstar Bhaichung Bhutia. This is our first initiative in Indian football and we feel that football has the potential to be the number one sport in this country.”
Bollywood’s top music composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan has also supported the initiative. Shankar is not only a loyal fanatic but is also one of the key investors and promoters of the newly formed football club.
The launch ceremony also announced Bengal’s coal major EMTA as it's title and shirt sponsor. While Nike has agreed to become the kit partners.
Former East Bengal coach and artist Philipe De Ridder has designed the official team crest and logo.
With such a dazzling launch, one can only hope that the team does well and comes up to the first division soon.
Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia commented on his role with the club, “My role with the club has not only been as a player but also as an administrator. I must say it is a very tough job and a different experience for me.
“The idea is to play well and get promoted to the I-League, that is where I guess we can give maximum exposure to our sponsors and investors,” pointed out the Sikkimese Sniper.