Imphal: NEROCA FC, the first team from the state to feature in the I-League, on Sunday launched its new kit for the upcoming 14th Hero I-League 2021 slated to be held from January 9, 2021, at Kolkata on Sunday. The event was held at the residence of Thangjam Arunkumar, President, NEROCA FC.
At the kits launching ceremony, Dr. Th. Dabali, Chairman and Managing Director, Babina Group; Th. Arunkumar, President, NEROCA FC; Michael, Proprietor, GMT; and Dr. M. Manimohon, Secretary, NEROCA FC were present as presidium members at the dais.
Secretary, Dr. M. Manimohon informed that there will be changes in the rules and regulation from the previous Hero I-League 2019-20. AIFF has implemented the ‘3+1’ foreigners’ rule from this season, he said.
Under this rule, each club will be allowed to field a maximum of four foreign players and one of those four foreign players must be from an AFC affiliated country.
He stated that due to Covid-19 pandemic this season’s league format was shortened. All teams will face each other once in the first leg of the league; then they will be divided into two different groups.
According to the standing on the points table from first leg, the top six teams will face each other once again in the championship stage, where the team with maximum points (cumulative points collected from all fifteen matches) will be declared the winner of the league and qualify for the 2022 AFC Cup group stage. Whereas the other five teams will play against each other in a relegation zone where the team with the lowest points (cumulative points collected from all fourteen matches) will be relegated to the 2nd Division League 2021-22, he added.
Th. Arunkumar stated that this Hero I-League season will be very competitive and challenging for NEROCA FC because all the players are new including three foreign players. There will be three new teams namely Sudeva Delhi FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa and Mohammedan Sporting Club (promoted from 2nd Division League 20-19-20), as two teams East Bengal and Mohun Bagan had moved to the Indian Super League 2021.
“I do hope the team will enter the top six teams for the Championship Stage. We had reserved 40 players, among them 22 players for I-League and remaining others will be for Manipur State League and CC Meet,” he said.
Michael, proprietor, MGT (Manipur Grow Team) said that everyone should support the I-League teams from the state and feel proud for NEROCA FC. I have high hopes that NEROCA FC team will succeed this season, he said and appealed to all the players to play from their heart and soul displaying their good strength and skill.
Dr. Th. Dabali, Chairman and Managing Director Babina Group said that this season is very altered from previous years due to Covid-19 pandemic and the matches will be played in Kolkata alone. He further noted that it will save a huge amount of travelling from one place to another, like what was experienced in the past seasons.
All the matches will be played at three venues in Kolkata namely Salt Lake Stadium, Kishore Bharati Krirangan, and Kalyani Stadium due to Covid-19 pandemic.
NEROCA FC will clash with city rival TRAU in their first fixture on January 15 at Kalyani Stadium.
The sponsors are GMT (Title sponsor), Ambition Sportswear (kit partner), Classic Group of Hotels, Xtreame Fitness, Stretch Career Institute, Bimal Elaichi, Arun Enterprises, Likla, Indigenous Sports and Amazing Trip for NEROCA FC.Attachments