KGF return to 2nd Div I-League

KGF Academy has become the second Karnataka team to be included in next month’s I-League Second Division after the I-League Committee on Friday decided to redraft the team into the competition.

“KGF meets the AFC guidelines of being a separate corporate entity. They played last season under the name KGF Academy, which was changed to KGF-BEML Sports Club this season and that was the main reason for them being disqualified in the first place. Now the team management has agreed to revert to the old name,” said I-League Chairman AR Khaleel.

South United FC are the other Karnataka team in the fray, while the prospects of another Bangalore outfit Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club making it looks rather bleak since they have not formed a separate corporate entity.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and Khaleel, who is also the KSFA President, decided to give a fresh lease of life to KGF after the team management decided to rectify the mistakes. “We are all for promoting the game. The KGF management will be sending a letter by next weekend including the final list of players and contract details,” added Khaleel.

Meanwhile, P Murugesan, KGF Academy president (football), and KGF coach Manoj Kumar, who was in charge during the recent BDFA Super Division League, expressed happiness over the development.  “I am elated. We have roped in three new Nigerian players and are looking to sign five or six Indian players. We are confident of making it to the main round (of qualifiers). The team management is also on the lookout for an AFC ‘A’ or ‘B’ licence holder as the new coach for the bigger challenges,” said Manoj.

A depleted KGF, after many of their top players moved over to the newly-formed South United, had finished fifth in the BDFA Super Division. Brothers Inola David and Inola Ifieyme will now add firepower to the KGF forward line, while Tamba Ibrahim will boost the side’s midfield in the Second Division matches.

South United will be playing their Second Division matches in Bangalore, while KGF is likely to play either in Kerala or in Tamil Nadu.

The AIFF had initially listed 21 clubs for the Second Division but three more teams were added earlier this week. It is reliably learnt that another club from Bengal is also likely to make the list.

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