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Bhaichung Bhutia bids farewell to Snow Lion; shuts down United Sikkim Football Club

Gangtok,Sep 22 (UNI) Football legend Bhaichung Bhutia shut down United Sikkim Football Club on Sunday.
The much cherished club of Bhaichung, Snow Lion,symbolising power and strength, saw its banner folded for the good.
Bhaichung, Arjun Rai and Sherap Lepcha, the founders of United Sikkim Sporting Club had renamed it as United Sikkim Football Club private limited to push it at the national level.
The trio now aims to promote football and nurture talents in rural Sikkim.
"Now, we want to focus on grassroots. Footballs Camps for Coaching the players and identifying underage players will be organised," said former Indian National Football Captain Bhaichung Bhutia, here today in the evening at Football House.
One of the reasons behind shutting down the club is also ‘Conflict of Interests’, sources said.
Bhaichung nurtured the Club for 15 years along with his friends Arjun and Sherap. Finally, after a long consultation with his friends, he decided to shut down the club, even though with a heavy heart.
"Shutting down USFC has nothing to do with politics,"claimed Bhaichung.
Bhaichung hopes that ambitious football fans will come forward and start many football clubs in the State.
Arjun Rai, tracing the history of Club since inception said,"Three of us had founded the Club in 2004. We changed United Sporting FC to USFC in 2011 to participate in League matches. Our aim was to provide platform to players. "
He added: "At least Rs5-6 Crores have already been spent on the Club. Bhaichung was at his peak when the club was started, he has helped a lot to run the club."
Sherap Lepcha thanked everyone for cooperating.
"It is really sad that we have to close down the Club. We worked so hard in the past...the club elevated the image of Sikkim at national level,"he said.
Reminiscing the club's success, he said the club went on to become the second club from Northeast to play I-League, and win it.
It is to be mentioned here that recently there was a showdown between players versus referee and organisers.
Earlier, the players had refused to play Santosh Trophy at Kalyani. Sikkim Football Association banned players of one of the clubs for manhandling referee at the end of a match.
As many as eight clubs witnessed 6 A division boycotting the Premier league in support of banned club members.
According to football fans, the series of incidents could have been triggered by ‘Conflict of Interest’.
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