Sanjiv Narain, who is one of the co-owners of the North East United Football Club (NEUFC), recently accused Bollywood actor John Abraham of breaching an agreement and has decided to walk out of the team.This was done in full view after the press conference in Guwahati earlier this week and he also dragged in the name of Larsing Ming who happens to be the other co owner of the team and many say the real reason that the ISL franchise even came to the Northeast region .
“Under very trying circumstances, I’m walking out of the NEUFC. John Abraham violated the initial agreement and started behaving differently. John has even sidelined Larsing Ming Sawyan, who has been instrumental in forming the team. He has forcefully reduced his share. Now, John is asking me to reduce my share as well. This is very unfortunate,” Narain was quoted as saying.
Narain had also alleged that the actor and Ronnie Lahiri, another associate of the club, have been urging them to sell their shares to a private firm, Brahmaputra Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, under the direction of Assam’s Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi.
“This was uncalled for as we had decided not to sell our shares in the first year. This is a commercial venture where huge money is at stake, but I could not spot any development work at the grassroots-level for the benefit of the gamein the region,” he added.
Another reason sited by Narain for leaving the club is reportedly its name. Many, including Assam sports minister Ajit Singh, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Football Association’s secretary Ankur Dutta, had advocated for a change in the name of the club. They wanted the inclusion of the word Guwahati in the name but that did not materialize.
“Every franchise was registered with the name of its home city. So, everybody in the state wanted the name of the club to include Guwahati. But John and company did not take to the idea,” Narain added.
However the real reason maybe slightly different and it is alleged that there maybe politics and ego clashes involved behind this entire Drama. With everything being micromanaged from Mumbai the first rumbling was when John Abraham publicly spoke out that The Anglian Group which has a significant share in Shillong Lajong had no stake in the ISL Team (a fact which is untrue as the group automatically own a portion by virtue of being a stakeholder in the Shillong Lajong club) .
Another issue which Narain stated was that of the name of the club which was an issue , the real reason though seems to be from a lobby which may have exploited this entire issue not on pure emotion but on the second fact which evidently was revealed by Narain himself.
(In the video: NorthEast United FC anthem teaser)
The allegation that the son of the Chief Minister and Current MP from Kaliabor was trying to influence his entry via John Abraham will surely have certain political impact on the already beleaguered image of the Chief Minister.It is only a matter of time when the opposition and critics will start sharpening the knives against the role of the Gogoi’s and the private firm, Brahmaputra Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, something which Akhil Gogoi and others have also alleged in the past . This time though this link has not been alleged by the political opposition but a well established Businessman .
Finally the stoic silence of the owners of Lajong who have decided to keep a dignified silence for the time being , Only time will tell if this team which has propelled the game of Football in the national scenario from the Northeast of India were actually shortchanged by a few bigwigs.
In the end most of the people alleged that ISL was not about the game of Football but a show of vanity for the big industrialist and Filmstars, looks like before the kick off there is no shortage of Drama . Northeast United already looks a bit divided .
Source: TNT News (With inputs from agencies)