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It is a dream come true to play against former greats: United Sikkim FC captain
A number of former football greats would be playing against United Sikkim Football club (USFC) on 22 January, 2012 in Sikkim. The owner of USFC, Bhaichung Bhutia who has been instrumental in organising the match told Merinews that it would be an initiative to promote Sikkim as a safe tourist destination and the sales will go to charity.

WHEN THE United Sikkim Football club (USFC) players were returning from Orissa after playing in the Kalinga cup, they got to know about something that sent them to the cloud nine - they would be on the other half of the pitch at Palzor stadium, which would include former greats such as Ruud Gullit, Carlos Valderrama, Christian Karaembu, among a host of other well known footballers. Nim Tsering, captain of USFC, while talking to Merinews said, “We are going to play against great players whom we have seen only on our television screens. It is a dream come true for us to play alongside them”.

The scheduled charity match between USFC and Superstar XI would be played on January 22. Primarily, funds raised from the game would be used for the earthquake victims and their families. After the major earthquake that shook Sikkim, on September 18, 2011, tourists are afraid to visit Sikkim. A staff member from the Tourism Department of Sikkim says, “It is the tourism industry that has been hit, as there has been a reduction in the tourist inflow”.

Bhaichung Bhutia, owner for USFC and the former Indian captain played an important role in organising the match. While talking to, star footballer said, “By inviting players from all around the world, we want to portray, Sikkim is safe” it is not only international stars that would be there for the match. Even Bollywood stars, like Rahul Bose would be present for the match. World motorbike champion Tim Trenker is also expected to make it in the squad for the superstar XI, along with Scorpions bass guitarist Rudolf Schenker. The squad would be witnessing people from different walks of life.

Well known former Indian players such as IM Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Alvito D’Cunha may also feature for superstar XI. The match would also provide an opportunity for USFC players. Bhcihung said, “It is a great chance for my players to play against them”. Though USFC skipper, Tsering said, “We would be giving 110% for the game”. Bhaichung on the other hand, said, “The result of the match is not going to be important”, as they are playing for a cause.

Apart from the players, it is the fans, who would be considering themselves lucky as they would be witnessing great players in action, which otherwise would have been impossible. The ticket for the match has been priced at Rs500, Rs1200 and Rs2000 for different seats in the stadium, which can hold 18,000 spectators.

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