Chirag United Club Kerala
Chirag United Club Kerala, formerly Viva Kerala Football Club, was an Indian professional football club based in the city of Kochi, Kerala India. The club was originally formed in 2004, as Viva Kerala FC. They played in the I-League, the top tier of Indian Football.
|Full name||Chirag United Club Kerala|
|Founded||9 May 2004|
|Ground||EMS Corporation Stadium|
Jawahar Municipal Stadium
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
|Capacity||80,000 (EMS Stadium)|
30,000 (JM Stadium)
80,000 (JLN Stadium)
Chirag United Club Kerala was formed on 8 August 2004. The club officially took off on 19 August in a ceremony at the FACT grounds. The club was formed by a group of businessmen who felt the need for the state's representation in country's top football league, the National Football League (NFL). Viva Kerala's name is the result of a contest, won by Dr. P Ramakrishnan of Ernakulam.
In 2007 the opportunity for an NFL spot came in the way of Second Division NFL. Viva surprised everyone by finishing second in its group and qualified for the final phase. In the final phase, Viva Kerala finished as runners-up of the Second Division NFL to book their place in the I-League 2007–08 on 6 April 2007. The club were relegated to 2nd division at the end of I-league 2007–08. In the next season Viva Kerala were promoted for the 2009–10 season.
In 2010 it was announced that I-League clubs needed to complete the AFC club licensing criteria; Viva signed P.K Kunhikrishnan (A-licensed coach) as the new Head coach. In August 2011, Chirag Computers was announced as the to be new majority owners and the club name would change to Chirag United Club Kerala.
Chirag were eliminated from the Federation Cup in the group stages when they lost all three group D matches; Coach K.P. Kunhikrishan was replaced by Sri Lankan Pakir Ali. Pakir was sacked in February after a poor run; Biswajit Bhattacharya was appointed as the technical director and was put in charge of the team. Chirag finished second to last at 12th in the 2011–12 I-League season, Pailan Arrows had finished 13th were exempted from relegation as a "developmental team", and so Chirag relegated. Players may have had difficulty being paid when Chirag Computers may not have released sponsorship money to the club.
The Chirag Crest is a yellow field with the words Chirag United Kerala imposed over a coconut tree.
Ever since their creation Chirag United Kerala have played in multiple stadiums. For their first three I-League seasons Chirag used the Municipal Corporation Stadium which holds a capacity of 80,000 in Kozhikode and Jawahar Municipal Stadium which holds a capacity of 30,000 in Kannur. They then after getting bought by Chirag Computers decided to move to the Jawarharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi which boasts a capacity of 70,000 and has working floodlights. They played 2011–12 season of I-League at the Jawarharlal Nehru International Stadium.
The club sense founding was ran by Musli Power X-tra (Kunnath Pharmaceuticals) mainly due the Power X-tra being major sponsors of the team. In July 2011 after not signing for then Viva Kerala, Chirag Computers came in and brought full stake in the club and changed the name to Chirag United Club Kerala.
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit
|Period||Kit Manufacturers||Shirt Sponsor|
|2010–2011||Musli Power X-tra|
|2011–2012||RP Clothing||Chirag Computers|
- Runners-up (1): 2009
-  Federation Cup 2011 standings
-  Pakir Ali to coach United Kerala
-  Desperate Chirag United fires Packeer
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) I League table 2011-12
-  Chirag Kerala relegated
-  Unpaid dues to players and club haunt Chirag United Kerala
- "Viva Kerala Hope To Stay in Kerala; Club Fans Ridicule Idea of Shifting Base". Goal.com. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- "I-League: Viva Kerala Renamed As Chirag United Kerala – It's Turning Into An Absolute Joke". Goal.com. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.