Gangtok: Expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of the Sikkim Football Association (SFA), members of the Football Players Association of Sikkim (FPAS) have decided to boycott the training session of the forthcoming Santosh Trophy till the authorities concerned changed the members of the SFA.
The SFA had decided to start the 10-day-long training session for the Santosh Trophy from September 10 at Paljor Stadium.
Addressing media persons on Tuesday, members of the FPAS in a press conference alleged that the SFA, governing body in Sikkim football, will not be able to to improve the condition of the sport in the state.
“The Sikkim football is at all time low. That’s why were are boycotting the camp,” the FPAS alleged. It also demanded immediate resignation of the current members of the Sikkim Football Association. The Association members also claimed that some of the prominent players from Sikkim playing in ISL and I-League viz., Sanju Pradhan (Minerva Punjab), Bikash Jairu (Jamshedpur FC), Robin Gurung (Jamshedpur FC) and Kunzang Lepcha (Churchill Brothers) are supporting their move.
Nirmal Chettri, Goa FC defender, has been asked to lead the state Santosh Trophy team by the SFA. Chettri, who is also president of the FPAS, said, “A total of 41 players have been selected from A division clubs of Sikkim to report for the Santosh Trophy training camp. The same footballers are also playing in Sikkim Premier League for teams like Sikkim Akraman FC, Sikkim Himalayan Sc, Sikkim Police and Kumar Sporting whereas other clubs like Boys Club, Unicorn FC & United Sikkim are fighting desperately to prevent themselves from relegation. Despite this, SFA has ordered the players and clubs to report for the training camp even though the league championship is at its peak. The notice for the training camp from SFA was sent at the last minute, thus catching the clubs off guard as they have all prepared their squads for a specific number of tournaments for the current season. Now, the better players have all been directed to attend the camp disregarding the ambitions and plans of the various clubs.”
In Sikkim, Chettri alleged, the camps are organised haphazardly. With this kind of preparation, the players are simply going for participation and its guaranteed that positive results will not be found. This goes on for not just this year but has been consistently happening for the past multiple years, Chettri regretted.
The FPAS also blames SFA for having its failure to develop football in Sikkim.