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Delhi-based Hindustan FC target I-League boost

Hindustan FC from New Delhi, Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC from Imphal, Ozone FC from Bengaluru and Srinagar-based Real Kashmir FC are the four clubs in reckoning for a place in the next season of I-League.

football Updated: May 21, 2018 19:29 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
I-League,Hindustan FC,Football
Hindustan FC are keen to bring top-flight action to an I-League-starved national capital after a series of unsuccessful attempts in the past.(HT Photo )

The final round of the 2017/18 2nd Division League, the second tier in the Indian football league pyramid, is set to start in Bengaluru this Thursday, with four clubs in contention for the sole promotion spot to the I-League.

Hindustan FC from New Delhi, Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC from Imphal, Ozone FC from Bengaluru and Srinagar-based Real Kashmir FC are the four clubs in reckoning for a place in next season’s top-flight.

Hindustan, who have been regulars in the second tier in recent years, are keen to bring top-flight action to an I-League-starved national capital after a series of unsuccessful attempts in the past.

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“Honestly speaking, it is not a motivating factor to play second division again and again. We have enough experience of playing at this level now,” said club president DK Bose ahead of the team’s departure to Bengaluru.

“JCT and Minerva Punjab have been the only north Indian clubs in the top-flight in the past, so if we qualify and become the first club from Delhi to play I-League, it will definitely be big,” he added.

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However, with the clubs’ fortunes in the final round confined to results from just three games each, there will be little room for error.

The Delhi outfit has kept its options open in case the aim of securing promotion doesn’t come to fruition by the end of the final round. Bose said that the club could seek entry to the I-League through a corporate quota in case Hindustan fail to win the 2nd Division title.

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“We have already started working on that. We had worked on those lines in 2016 as well. We had spoken to a couple of big business houses which have been investing in sports other than football. They did not disappoint us, but we needed to be more organised. This year, we may apply through that route. There is an advantage as well since you get immunity from relegation for a year and get time to organise yourself,” he remarked.

2nd Division final round fixtures

24th May: Hindustan FC vs TRAU FC, Ozone FC vs Real Kashmir FC

27th May: Ozone FC vs Hindustan FC, Real Kashmir FC vs TRAU FC

30th May: Real Kashmir FC vs Hindustan FC, TRAU FC vs Ozone FC

First Published: May 21, 2018 19:26 IST