KOZHIKODE (Kerala): Newly-crowned I-League champions Gokulam Kerala FC was given a rousing reception when the workforce landed on the Calicut International Airport with the coveted trophy.
Kerala has usually been identified for its sheer ardour for the gorgeous recreation, and that keenness was prominently on present when the followers lastly acquired to see the coveted trophy — their maiden I-League title.
“Kerala has been a powerhouse in Indian football. but it had been sleeping for two decades. We have had great teams like Kerala Police and FC Kochi in the past, but it was high time for us to revive that past,” AIFF quoted Gokulam Kerala FC CEO Ashok Kumar as saying.
“We have proved that our state is as much a powerhouse as the likes of Goa, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, or Meghalaya,” he added.
Speaking in regards to the rapturous reception that the Malabarians acquired upon their arrival, Ashok stated, “I’ve never seen anything like it. The closest thing I have seen to this was when the Indian cricket team would land in Chennai, after a successful tour in Australia.”
The I-League got here to a grandstand end on Saturday, when three groups have been tied on the identical quantity of factors on the high of the desk — Gokulam Kerala FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, and TRAU FC.
Needing a win to make sure their maiden league title, the Malabarians got here again from a objective all the way down to defeat the Red Pythons 4-1.
Despite the truth that Gokulam completed on the identical quantity of factors with Churchill, who additionally picked up the three factors in their remaining match of the season in opposition to RoundGlass Punjab, the previous have been topped champions by advantage of a greater head-to-head report.
With their maiden I-League win of the season, Gokulam Kerala has now sealed direct qualification for the 2022 AFC Cup Group Stage, topic to AFC Club Licensing.