Shillong, Sep 11: The Meghalaya Football Association has written to the All India Football Federation to recommend Ryntih SC for a place in the I-League in case an opening in the competition is created by East Bengal moving to the Indian Super League.
In a letter dated 1st September but shared by Ryntih on social media yesterday, MFA President Larsing Ming Sawyan put forth five points in favour of the Shillong club to join the I-League.
Ryntih was one of three clubs to bid for direct entry to the I-League but last month the AIFF awarded spots to Sudeva for the 2020-21 season and Sreenidhi for 2021-22 onwards.
Although they failed to win the bid, the MFA said that Ryntih’s documentation would be “on a better ground than most”.
“Ryntih SC have undergone a complete overhaul of their management and objectives and are aiming towards being a strong and committed contributor to the football ecosystem of Meghalaya, following in the footsteps of several other clubs in the state,” Sawyan wrote.
As part of their bid, Ryntih took several steps, such as restructuring its administration, tying up with a club in Bhutan and signing agreements for use of a suitable football stadium in Shillong.
The MFA President also highlighted the club’s strong support base (they easily had the best support in last season’s Shillong Premier League) and said that this would give a huge boost to the I-League brand.
As Meghalaya is home to the first club from the North East to play in the I-League – Shillong Lajong – which inspired others from the region to strive to qualify for a place in the league, “it would be fitting to consider another aspiring club from the state to pave more pathways,” the letter said.
The fifth point was that the MFA, with support of the state government and “important stakeholders” has a plan to make Meghalaya one of the football powerhouses of the country and having a local club in the I-League would go a long way in making this a reality, Sawyan said.
With the backing of a new sponsor, East Bengal look more likely to make the jump to the ISL this season, though time is running out. The Times of India reported yesterday that the Red & Golds are one of two entities (the other being a UK-based company) to pick up invitation-to-bid documents to join the ISL. They have until 14th September to file the necessary paperwork.