NorthEast United Football Club is an Indian Super League (ISL) football franchise based out of Guwahati, Assam that shall play during the inaugural season of the Hero-Indian Super League conducted between October – December 2014. The team is co-owned by actor John Abraham and Shillong Lajong F.C., an I-League club which plays in Shillong, Meghalaya.
In the beginning of 2014, All India Football Federation (the national federation for football in India) and IMG-Reliance announced that they would be accepting bids for ownership of eight selected cities for the upcoming Hero-Indian Super League, an eight-team franchise league fashioned along the framework of the Indian Premier League, the cricket tournament. On 13 April 2014, it was announced that actor John Abraham and Shillong Lajong F.C. had won the bidding for the Guwahati franchise. On June 10, 2014, the actor John Abraham announced the name of his team as ‘NorthEast United F.C.’, for the Guwahati franchise. He also spoke in lengths about naming the team after the entire north east region of India was to project the eight states together as a sign of strength and as a force to reckon within Indian football.
Manager & Technical Staff
Ricki Herbert, the former New Zealand international who managed New Zealand to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, has been brought in by the club in the capacity of the Club Manager. NorthEast United FC also announced Thangboi Singto, who is the head coach of Shillong Lajong F.C., as their Coach and Lee Taylor as their Performance Coach.
NorthEast United FC further announced that Joan Capdevila, the left-back of Spain’s title-winning teams at UEFA Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010 as their marquee player. The spanish left-back brings vast international experience to a relatively young squad in North East United FC.
Mission of the Club
North East India has long been a source of providing top Indian footballers such as Baichung Bhutia, the former Indian Football Captain. The mission of the NorthEast United FC is to take football in the northeast parts of India to next level for overall development of sport in the country. One of the strategic aims is to drive north-east footballers to national recognition, and eventually pave their paths to the Indian national team.