Uncertain RCT future

- Ritesh Rijal, Kathmandu
Uncertain RCT future

Feb 3, 2014-

Fall of one of the oldest and most successful football clubs RCT (Ranipokhari Corner Team) raised serious concerns over the future of Nepali football.

A record six-time  ‘A’ Division League champions were relegated to B Division for the first time in 43 years since earning promotion to the top-tier in 1969. The demotion was more of the club’s own doing.

The club management had twice considered pulling out of football due to the rising debts. Even this season dubious mentality within the club – whether to play or not – lead the club ultimately to skip the Ncell Cup. The decision resulted into the three-point penalty ahead of the league kickoff All Nepal Football Association.

The debate continued within the club whether to pull out of the league but the last minute sponsorship from Srinath Collection Shirting and Shooting prompted them to go ahead with football. But the football resentment was always there among the club board which was evident by the fact of their unwillingness to strengthen the squad.

“I take the responsibility of the relegation but more than me it’s the club management to blame for the fate,” said the long serving RCT player turned coach Madhu Karki after his team’s fate was sealed with a 1-0 defeat to Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) on Sunday. “I am very disheartened but given the responsibility I would be more than pleased to play an active part to help bring the club back to the top flight,” said emotional Karki.

But Karki was susceptive of the club’s intention of continuing with football. “Now that we are relegated, they (club management) have all the time to discuss future of the club,” said Karki.

Apart from taking the coaching responsibility, Karki for many years has been scouting the new players but he was never consulted this time. “They never even asked me to look for the new players this season,” added the RCT coach indicating towards the management’s reluctance in playing football. “Ultimately the three-point penalty imposed on us for skipping Ncell Cup turned out to be crucial. We could have a chance of avoiding the drop if not for the ANFA penalty,” said Karki.

The club was established way back in 1932 to work for social causes but since their promotion to the top-tier football in 1969, they are known better as a football club. Only Manang Marshyangdi Club have matched their record of winning six league titles.

Incidentally, another club with rich football tradition New Road Team (NRT) pulled out of the sport last year with the management unanimously deciding to address the clubs soaring debts first.

Published: 03-02-2014 09:12

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