Sandip Rai joins Indian second div club



KATHMANDU, Aug 9: National football player Sandip Rai has joined Mohammedan Sporting Club, Kolkata, a second division Indian football club. Rai, who had left for Kolkata with Sapan Das last week, signed with the club on Friday.

Rai will get Rs 1.2 million for an eight-month contract. Rai who played for Three Star Club in the Martyrs Memorial League last season had signed with Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) about a month back for Rs 40,000 per month.

Rai is considered to be equally competent as a defense player as well midfielder. “I was selected as I can play from both the positions,” Rai said.

Rai has become the second Nepali footballer to play professional football in India in the last two years. Anil Gurung last season played professional football from Shillong Lajong, an I-League team of India. Gurung received Rs 6.3 millions for a three-year contract. His team has been relegated in the current season.

“After a three-day long training, the club proposed me for two years,” Rai said via e-mail, “But I contracted only for eight months after my agent said that there were chances of being enrolled in A division team."

Rai was selected by a well-known coach Sautad Naumudith. Naumudith had played with former Nepali national team coach Shyam Thapa from the Indian national team.

The second division league in India is scheduled to begin from August 17 and Rai´s team Mohammedan Sporting will play their first match on August 29.

Mohammedan Sporting will correspond to All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) for International Transfer Certificate (ITC) on Monday. “The club will send a fax to ANFA on Monday and then all paper works will be completed here,” Rai said.

He said that he had already informed MMC about his plan to shift base to Kolkata. And it has been clearly stated in the agreement with MMC that he can leave the club if he leaves for any foreign country. Rai is one among the 17 players signed by MMC two weeks ago.

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