Viva Chennai to bid to enter I-League

Viva Chennai could become the second from Tamil Nadu after Chennai City FC to feature in the I-League, if it wins its bid on October 4.

With no competitive tournaments in the offing, Viva Chennai's the team management has decided to bid to join the I-League to give its players more exposure and keep them engaged.   -  R. Ragu

In what could be a boost to the local football scene in the state, Chennai Football Association (CFA) senior division league team Viva Chennai could make an entry into the second division of the I-League as the team management is all set to make a bid for an entry.

The team could be the second from the state after Chennai City FC to feature in the country's domestic flight, if it wins its bid on October 4.

Viva Chennai coach C. M. Ranjith said with no competitive tournaments in the offing, the team management turned to the country's domestic league to keep its players engaged.

 "That's where the idea stemmed from. The only way to improve is to keep playing competitive matches as often as possible. It will help the players grow and can shape careers," Ranjith explained.

The former Tamil Nadu coach added that financial constraints prevented the management from bidding to the top division. "We already have Chennai City FC in the top flight. We thought the logical way was to get entry into the second division, get some exposure under our belt and gradually progress to the first division," Ranjith noted.

The last date for bidding is October 4 and Ranjith said the CFA, under which Viva Chennai is registered, has offered all help. "In the end, it helps the sport grow in the state. That's the larger picture and the state association has been helping us to the maximum possible extent," he added.

The squad is currently training in Thiruvananthapuram and Ranjith is happy with the progress. "We have players from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka etc. in our roster. The good mix of players from across the country has been fruitful as the players are learning different styles and the camaraderie has been top notch so far," Ranjith noted.

With the rule of having no foreigners in the second division of the I-League, domestic players get a boost as the division acts as a feeder for clubs in the first division, which will run concurrently with the glitzy Indian Super League. According to sources, the second division could be an 18-team to a 20-team affair. 

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