GUWAHATI, Sept 29 � Sanjive Narain, the co-owner of the Indian Super League (ISL) outfit North East United Football Club (NEUFC) has stepped out from the squad and henceforth he will have no relation with the team for which Guwahati was allotted franchise by the IMG Reliance.
Announcing about his decision in a crowded press conference here today, Narain said that the first and main reason behind his stepping out is he was approaching the team management to insert the name of Guwahati while naming the team. But his hue and cry fell in deaf years and the team management, the Bollywood star John Abraham in particular, who is also a co-owner of the team, virtually denied to add the Guwahati tag in the team�s name.
He said several organisations, including Assam Football Association, AASU along with the State Sports Minister Ajit Singh asked him to put pressure on the team management so that the name of Guwahati was included in the team�s name as the sentiment of the city will come first before Assam and north east. The home matches of the team are scheduled to be played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai here and the football buffs of the city will be the major spectators of the matches. Moreover, the Assam Government has spent Rs 12.5 crore for the renovation of the stadium in order to host the cash rich championship in a befitting manner.
Narain, who is also the CMD of Prag News, further revealed that after the launch John very smartly sidelined Larsing Ming Sawyan, one of the co-owners with 33 percent of share by reducing his shares to bare minimum. Ming has no other way but to stay with the team as he had to pay his players in Shillong Lajjong signed for NEUFC. He said John has asked him also to reduce share (from 33 percent) three days back and said Nita Ambani has instructed to do that and take a corporate house.
Narain said, initially he thought the NEUFC team management will work for the development of the game in the entire NE region and Assam. But now the picture is quite opposite as the NEUFC team camped for a couple days in Shillong and from there went to Goa for friendly matches. He said that the team should have stayed in the city for few days so that the players get some ideas about the environment here.
He also passed a remarkable opinion that John and Ronnie Lahiri, one of the share holders, had been even telling that the Kaliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi has been insisting to give shares to some Brahmaputra Infrastructures Pvt Ltd. Asked, whether he would re-join the club if �Guwahati� is included in the team�s name, Narain replied negatively. But he wished a grand success of the championship.