Bhaichung to continue playing for United Sikkim FC

Last Updated: May 15, 2011, 18:18 PM IST

Shillong: Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia Sunday said he will not don the East Bengal jersey but rather focus on his two-month old United Sikkim Football Club.

"I have made up my mind not to return to East Bengal. I have my own club (United Sikkim FC) now and will have to give more time to it," Bhutia, the co-owner of the club, told IANS.

United Sikkim FC failed to qualify for the first division I-League Saturday after they lost to Vasco Sports Club 1-2.

"Hard luck for us... it always happens like this in football. We have to stay (second division league) but we will bounce back in the next season," Bhutia said.

Apart from Bhutia, United Sikkim FC has two other national players in P. Renedy Singh and N.S. Manju. The club stands fifth in the second division league table with 10 points.

Bhaiching is very happy to give back something to his home state.

"It was a great experience for us. Nonetheless, we are only two-month old football club and I should say we have done much better," said.

"Now the team will go back home and will be back in training. We have learn a lot from our first appearance," he added.

United Sikkim FC`s long-term vision is to be one of the best clubs in Asia and to produce local talent who can compete at the international level. It aims to be the springboard to bring Indian football to the consciousness of the world.

Shillong Lajong FC and Sporting Clube de Goa had qualified for the I-league division. Incidentally, both the clubs were relegated from the I-League last year.

IANS