Four prominent professional football clubs of J&K have shown interest in representing Jammu and Kashmir in this season’s I-League 2nd Division.
J&K Football Association (JKFA) had invited applications from football clubs for participation in the I-League 2nd Division. Four clubs have shown interest and have submitted applications with the JKFA.
As part of the process in including teams from all over India in the I-League 2nd Division, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had asked its state units to nominate teams. This year the AIFF asked the JKFA to nominate two teams from J&K for the league.
JKFA has received three applications from Kashmir and one from Jammu.
Lone Star Kashmir FC, Kashmir Avengers and Hyderia Sports are the clubs who have applied from Kashmir while Shaheen FC from Jammu.
Previously, being the only club to show interest, Lone Star Kashmir FC has been representing J&K in the I-League 2nd Division. In fact, Lone Star was the first ever club from J&K to play in this league. Real Kashmir FC was the second club to do that and went on to win the 2nd Division. They are the only club from J&K to qualify for the main I-League.
While the JKFA has received multiple applications but has to nominate only two entries, the association is planning to conduct an inter-club tournament between these teams. The top two teams would be nominated for the league.
A JKFA official said the association is going to hold a meeting next week to look into the applications.
“On receiving multiple applications, it is obvious that we can’t nominate all. They have to undergo through competition and the top two sides would be nominated. Apart from that, we will be holding a meeting next week to look into the applications. If any club is found lacking any necessary formality they may not be given a go ahead nod,” he said.
The official however expressed satisfaction over seeing multiple applications for the participation in the national league.
“It is a positive thing and shows the development of football in J&K. With the increase in professional clubs, more and more of our players will get a chance to play at I-League level. This season we are expecting both our nominated teams to play in the I-League 2nd Division,” he said.
JKFA praised Lone Star Kashmir FC and Real Kashmir FC for bringing professionalism into the club football in J&K.
“Today we are seeing more and more private clubs turning into professionals; the credit for it goes to Lone Star Kashmir FC and Real Kashmir FC. The journey that was started by Lone Star has been carried forward by Real Kashmir FC,” he said.