In an effort to quash suggestions that South United Football Club (SUFC) does not possess a strong local connect, its owner Lokknath Char emphasised that the club was ‘100 per cent Bangalore-based’.
“South United is a 100 per cent Bangalore-based football club, and it will always remain a Bangalore club. I have lived here, and most of the players are local boys,” Char said here on Friday, in an interaction with the media.
Char’s company Lokko Sports, which runs SUFC, operates out of Mumbai. His comments came in response to a question on the perceived lack of support from fans for Karnataka’s first and only professional club, during its Super Division fixtures last season. Despite being only six months into its launch, SUFC finished runner-up in the league to Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club (HASC).
Char also stated that community programmes — free coaching clinics, charity events and sustained sports development work with Bangalore’s schools — would bring greater support to the club.
The club also announced three new signings, just ahead of its I-League (Division II) campaign — Lalrempuia (Mumbai FC), Abhishek Aich (Bengal) and Vinoth Kumar (HASC).
Coach Raman Vijayan said: “Lalrempuia played for Mohun Bagan (three seasons) and Prayag United (one season) before joining Mumbai FC. He is a superb striker, but did not get to play much for Mumbai FC because of the presence of foreign players.”
Commenting on Vinoth, Vijayan said the winger’s ability to score through blistering runs impressed him.