Northern powerhouse Apollo Minerva Punjab FC who recently scripted history by bringing back the glory days to North India after 22 years by winning their maiden Hero I-League title,
Minerva thus became the first team from Punjab to win the title since the 1996-97 season when now defunct JCT claimed the inaugural National Football League (NFL), which was later re-christened as the I-League and ensuring themselved a spot in the Asian Champions League Qualifiers for the next season in just their 2nd season in the top flight of Indian Football !
The man behind this great achievement, CEO & Owner Ranjit Bajaj who no more needs introduction writes down to the sport’s governing body, All India Football Federation (AIFF) to thank them for their support as he pens down his emotional journey from day 1 visit at the AIFF’s headquarters in Delhi to register his team in the Hero I-League to sealing the title in just two years in his own fortress.
Letter dated 11th March 2018 : Here it goes :
Dear Sir,I am writing to you today to express my profound gratitude to the All India Football Federation, especially Mr. Kushal Das (General Secretary), Mr. Praful Patel (President) and Mr. Sunando Dhar (CEO, I-League) for trusting in us two years ago and allowing us to represent Punjab in the Hero I-League.I can still recall the day, two years ago, when we were called to the AIFF Headquarters in Delhi to pitch to the committee set up to decide new entrants into the I-League and we presented our case to the committee. If the AIFF had decided not to give us and Punjab the chance to participate that day, we would not have created history by winning the Hero I-League in our subsequent season.It is odd that when I used to dream about winning the league, I used to think that it would be our biggest achievement ever and I would feel invincible, proud and on top of the world. Instead, I am filled with extreme gratitude towards my parent body which has often forgiven my eccentricities, recognised my passion and allowed us the chance to create history and dream big.I know the AIFF has its critics and it is impossible to keep everyone happy, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, but I can safely say that All India Football Federation is responsible for many fairytales like our’s and Aizawl’s and I applaud their sincere commitment and efforts towards taking Indian Football to the top.Thanking you once again from the bottom of our hearts.With warmest regards,Ranjit BajajDirectorApollo Minerva Punjab FC – Champions of Hero I-League 2017-18