United Sikkim F.C.

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United Sikkim Football Club was an Indian football club based in Gangtok, Sikkim. The club, played in the Sikkim Premier Division League which was founded in 2011,[1][2] is the only club from Sikkim to play in the I-League and the second club from North East India. The club which was co-owned by Dubai based Fidelis World, former India football captain Baichung Bhutia, and Indian music singer Shankar Mahadevan, was founded in order to give the people of the Indian state of Sikkim a team.[3]

United Sikkim
United Sikkim FC 2012 Logo.jpeg
Full nameUnited Sikkim Football Club
Nickname(s)The Snow Lions,Sikkim People Club
Founded2011 (2011)
GroundPaljor Stadium
Capacity30,000
OwnerBaichung Bhutia
Fidelis World
Shankar Mahadevan
ChairmanNicat Mehdiyev
ManagerSantosh Kashyap
LeagueI-League 2nd Division
2014Final Round : 4th

In September 2019, Baichung Bhutia announced of shutting the club down due to some unavoidable circumstances.[4] During an emotional farewell event, Baichung Bhutia thanked all the players and support staff besides the fans who supported the club over the years.[5]

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

The club was founded in 2011 by the Sikkim Football Association and Baichung Bhutia and would compete in the Sikkim Gold Cup and other All-India tournaments for the early years of their existence.[1] Then on 22 March 2011 the club was launched as a professional club which would be co-owned by Dubai-based Fidelis World, former India football captain Baichung Bhutia, and Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan.[3] The club then revealed that they would compete in the 2011 I-League 2nd Division in the quest for promotion to the I-League within the next three years.[3][6]

2011–2012: 2nd Division seasonsEdit

The club started their quest for the I-League on 27 February 2011 when the signed Liberian international Johnny Menyongar from NSC Minnesota Stars of the North American Soccer League in the United States. The club then played their first match of the 2011 I-League 2nd Division against Langsning F.C. on 31 March 2012 in which the club drew 2–2.[7] United Sikkim then won their first match of the season five days later on 5 April 2011 against North Imphal Sporting Association at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Assam by a score of 2–0.[8] The club finished in first place in Group A of the first round of the I-League 2nd Division and thus qualified for the 2011 I-League 2nd Division Final Round in which they only needed to finish in the top two for promotion. The club began the Final Round with three consecutive draws against Sporting Clube de Goa, Royal Wahingdoh, and Shillong Lajong before winning two matches in a row against Mohammedan and Southern Samity before a draw to Ar-Hima and a loss to Vasco officially knocked United Sikkim out of contention for promotion to the 2nd Division and forced them to settle for fifth place for the season.[9]

The season including the 2012 I-League 2nd Division did not start well for United Sikkim. On 11 June 2011 it was announced that Johnny Menyongar would leave the club to join I-League team Shillong Lajong as well as Indian internationals Renedy Singh and NS Manju in January 2012.[10][11] However, after firing coach Stanley Rozario, United Sikkim signed Belgian Philippe De Ridder as coach of the team.[12] The club the re-signed Nigerian Daniel Bedemi and Quinton Jacobs for the season. The club then began their charge for the I-League for the second season in a row with a 3–2 victory over Bhawanipore F.C. at the Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium in Assam on 2 February 2012.[13] The club went on to win three more matches during the first round of the I-League 2nd Division against Eagles, Southern Samity, and Ar-Hima in order to qualify for the 2012 I-League 2nd Division Final Round in which the club won promotion on the last day of the season on 17 April 2012 at the Paljor Stadium in Gangtok, Sikkim in front of 30,000 fans as United Sikkim drew Mohammedan 1–1, with Daniel Bedemi scoring the goal for United Sikkim.[14]

2014–2018: State leagueEdit

On 18 December 2014, it was revealed by owner Baichung Bhutia that United Sikkim had decided to shut down as the future of I League was dim due to the formation of ISL, and thus the team would only participate in the local league.[15]

2018–present: I league 2nd DivisionEdit

2018–19 I-League 2nd Division participate the Club in Sikkim we will aim with fourth Northeast Football club in I-League[clarification needed]

United Sikkim had decided to shut down as the future of I League was dim due to the formation of ISL.

Crest and coloursEdit

On 22 March 2011 the first kit and crest of United Sikkim were unveiled at a function held at the Taj Hotel in Kolkata.[16] The club crest had a picture of a snow lion on it, which is currently the club mascot, and the color of the kit was red with white shorts.[16] The club's away colors are dark and light blue.[17] On 29 August 2012 after gaining promotion to the I-League the club unveiled their new crest which is red and not orange like the crests from before. Instead of having "est. 2008" for the founding date, the crest has "est. 2011", which could stand for when the club professionalized itself.[18]

StadiumEdit

 
Paljor Stadium

For their first season in the I-League the club announced that they would play all their home matches at the 25,000 seater Paljor Stadium in the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok.[19] When the club were participating in amateur tournaments from 2008 to 2011 and the I-League 2nd Division from 2011 to 2012 in which they would play in neutral venues, the club used the Paljor Stadium as a training ground, holding the majority of their practices there.[20] However, despite the I-League 2nd Division being a neutral competition the Paljor Stadium was given the rights to host the 2012 I-League 2nd Division Final Round 2nd leg in which United Sikkim were also participating.[21] The ground was also the venue for the match in which United Sikkim gained promotion to the I-League after drawing Mohammedan 1–1.[22]

 
Seats in Paljor Stadium

RivalryEdit

Northeast India DerbyEdit

Opponent Played Wins Draws Losses
United Sikkim 2 0 1 1
Shillong Lajong 2 1 1 0
Total 2 1 1 0

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor Off-Field Uniform
2011 Nike EMTA none
2012 none
2012 URO
2013–2018 Kokkivo Clothing[23]
2018– Officer's Choice

First-team squadEdit

As of 20 August 2018

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
10   FW John Ampong

Current technical staffEdit

As of 4 December 2018
Position Name
Manager   None
Head Coach   None
Assistant coach   None
Club physio   None

Head coach's recordEdit

HonoursEdit

1: 2012

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Bhutani, Rahul. "Chirag United and United Sikkim: The Two Extremes Of Indian Football". The Hard Tackle. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ Goalie365. "Sikkim Football Association released the fixture for 2018 Sikkim Premier Division League at football house in Gangtok". Goalie365. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Sengupta, Rahul. "India: Dazzling Launch For United Sikkim As Bhaichung Bhutia Shows Indian Football Does Have Investors". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Indian football: Bhaichung Bhutia decides to shut down United Sikkim FC". Goal.com. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  5. ^ Dichen Ongmu (24 September 2019). "Emotional farewell to players as United Sikkim FC shuts down". EastMojo.com. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  6. ^ Sunam, Ashim. "United Sikkim qualification highlight of my career: Bhaichung Bhutia". Meri News. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  7. ^ "I-League 2nd Division – Langsning vs United Sikkim – Soccer – Scoresway – Results, fixtures, tables and statistics". www.scoresway.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  8. ^ "I-League 2nd Division – United Sikkim vs NISA – Soccer – Scoresway – Results, fixtures, tables and statistics". www.scoresway.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  9. ^ "All India Football Federation, Football Development Programmes". www.the-aiff.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Menyongar signs with Shillong Lajong". India Blooms. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Shillong Lajong sign Renedy Singh". Times of India. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  12. ^ Choudhuri, Arunava. "Indian Football: Transfer Season 2011/12 – Version 13". Arunava Choudhuri. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  13. ^ "I-League 2nd Div.: United Sikkim beats Bhawanipur 3–2". iSikkim. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  14. ^ "USFC Top Group". The All India Football Federation. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  15. ^ "India need better system, not big names as coaches: Baichung Bhutia". Zee News. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Jersey of USFC officially launched in Kolkata". iSikkim. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  17. ^ Mangar, Nirmal. "Cheers at home fail to yield goals". Telegraph India. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  18. ^ United Sikkim New Logo
  19. ^ "Paljor Stadium, Sikkim to host I-League matches". Seven Sister Post. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  20. ^ "USFC concludes training for Kalinga Cup & 2nd Div I-League". iSikkim. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  21. ^ "How Bhaichung's United Sikkim FC qualified for the I league?". iSikkim. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  22. ^ "United Sikkim qualify for next edition's I-League Football". iSikkim. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  23. ^ http://isikkim.com/2013-10-united-sikkim-fc-kokkivo-apparel-tie-up-21-7/ United Sikkim FC, Kokkivo Clothing apparel tie-up

External linksEdit

Official websitesEdit