Goa club gets first PIO player

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Goa's Churchill Brothers Sports Club has become the first team in India to sign a foreign player of Indian origin.

Goa club gets first PIO player
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Goa :

Goa's Churchill Brothers Sports Club has become the first team in India to sign a foreign player of Indian origin. The side has also managed to qualify for the National Football League after two years on the sidelines. Striker James Effiong earned the distinction of being the first PIO player after he impressed the Churchill Brother scouts who saw him playing for a local club in Bangalore. "My mom is an Indian, born in Bangalore. She is an Anglo-Indian, my dad is from Nigeria so we have been staying here for quite sometime now so last year we just got the PIO made for us so which was quite good. This also helped me to play as a player of Indian Origin. I'm hoping to play for India sometime soon," said Effiong. Earlier this month, the All India Football Federation gave the thumbs up for clubs to sign a PIO. However, the clubs will still continue to use the services of two foreign players in the domestic leagues. Many believe it's a move that will help improve the standard of the game in India. "For the Indian football players, we're not trying to ignore them. It's good to play with good players from abroad. It will help them grow, and give them a chance to develop, and of course having players who are of Indian origin. It's a good idea," said Karim Bencharifa, Coach, Churchill Brothers.

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