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Club owners stand with ISL, isolate FC Goa

FC Goa’s assertion that Chennaiyin FC were pre-decided champions in the second edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) has not found favour with any of the franchisees. FC Goa lost 2-3 in an acrimonious final clash against Chennaiyin FC after leading 2-1 with just three minutes on the clock at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday.

Since then the Goan franchise, and thousands of fans, have been unable to come to terms with the excruciating loss. Several questions have been raised particularly about refereeing but away from the din of Goa, owners of other franchisees are throwing their weight behind the league.

“The ISL has given a platform for the young footballing talent in India to express themselves and an opportunity to play with some of the vastly experienced international players. The league has already created an impact in the domestic football circuit which will only continue to grow over the years. The quality of the game in the last two seasons has been impressive and the competitive level has enhanced,” said cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, owner of Kerala Blasters.

Atletico de Kolkata, winners of the inaugural edition last year, felt the just-concluded edition was “football at its best.” “Being the first champions, it has always been an honour to be part of this league. We have complete faith in the way the league has been conducted this season,” said co-owner Utsav Parekh.

NorthEast United FC failed to make it to the semifinals of the SL for two successive years, yet co-owner John Abraham continues to be proud of his association with the league.

“I would not associate with a league that in any way tarnishes the purity of the sport. I grew up playing football and one important lesson that I’ve learned is that it is as important to lose graciously as it is to celebrate victory,” said the Bollywood actor. 
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