Forced by financial constraints, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) disbanded its developmental outfit Pailan Arrows, an I-League team based in Kolkata, on Thursday.
The club originally called AIFF XI and later renamed Indian Arrows was slated to join I-League II Division but it gained steam and rolled into the I-League once Mahindra United disbanded.
I-League CEO, Sunando Dhar said, “I was informed about the team before the I-League meeting, and it had become difficult to run the team as it did cost us money.”
“Moreover, the infrastructure at Pailan in the outskirts of the city is in a bad shape. We have no option but to pull the team out,” asserted an AIFF official.
Despite a disastrous 2012-13 season, where the team won only two matches finishing 13th in the 14-team league, they were not relegated being the AIFF brainchild.
Meanwhile, the club’s goal of nurturing young Indian football talents in the hope of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in the future was in doldrums from its inception as they changed their coach every season. Initially it was Bob Houghton, then Desmond Bulpin and finally Arthur Papas.
The club played their first match against JCT Football Club in Federation Cup (2000) which they won 1-0 and the name Pailan Arrows was coined after AIFF reached an agreement with Pailan Group to sponsor the team.