Monday, February 17, 2020

East Bengal FC: The Arch-Rivals of Mohun Bagan

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Kolkata is considered the very first hub of football in India. It is the epicenter of the love of football in India. From here the love and fame of football spread far and wide into our country and when we talk about football in Kolkata we should not miss talking about the East Bengal FC. It is one of the oldest and strongest football teams in India. The club competes in the I-league under the license of the All India Football Federation and is currently owned by the Quess group. So, let us know in detail about East Bengal football club who are the arch-rivals of the Mohun Bagan team.

East Bengal FC: Club Profile

Full Name: Quess East Bengal Football Club

Nickname: Red and Gold

Founded: The club was established in the year 1920

Homeground: Salt Lake Stadium

Capacity: 85,000

Affiliation: I-League

Official Website: https://www.eastbengalfootballclub.com/

East Bengal Football Club history

On 28 July 1920, in the Cooch Behar Cup Jora Bagan was scheduled to play against Mohun Bagan. Jora Bagan’s team chose to play without their star halfback Sailesh Bose much to the displeasure of the club vice president Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri. Suresh Chandra left the club and with the help of his friends Raja Manmath Nath Chaudhuri, Aurobindo Ghosh and Ramesh Chandra Sen formed the East Bengal Football Club at his JoraBagan home on 1st August 1920. The first president of the club was Professor S. Roy, the principal of Vidyasagar College.  

East Bengal FC Victories

The East Bengal club has won many football matches till now and has an impressive past history and a golden future. So, let us have a look at the past East Bengal Football club victories. 

1920-1940 Era

In the same month of their establishment, the team went on to participate in the Hercules tournament. The rule of this game was a 7 a side rule. East Bengal FC won this tournament, without making any special efforts. Hence, the team won their inaugural tournament. After the major win, the club became a member of IFA automatically much to the chagrin and opposition of Mohun Bagan Club and entered the League play in IFA second division and finished in third place in the second division. The first-ever unofficial Kolkata derby took place on 8th August 1921 in Cooch Behar Cup, which ended in a goalless draw. In 1924, the club stood second in the IFA Second Divisions match after the Cameroons B team. But, since the Cameroon A team was already in IFA’s first division, the East Bengal Football Club got direct entry into the first division of IFA.

1940-1960 Era (Panch Pandavs Era)

The era of the 1940s is known as the Pancha Pandavas Era in the history of the East Bengal Football club. Their penta forward line consisting of Ahmed Khan, Appa Rao, P. Venkatesh, P.B.A Saleh and K. P. Dhanaraj helped the East Bengal FC team win a lot of matches including 3 IFA Shields, 3 Kolkata Football Leagues, 2 Durand Cups, 1 Rovers Cup, and 2 D. C. M trophies.

 In 1942 the club won their first IFA first division title and then in 1943, they won their first IFA shield. In 1945 the club won both the IFA Shield and the Kolkata Football League and recorded the highest marginal victory by defeating the B.B.C.I Railway by 11-0 in the Rovers Cup. In 1948 they defeated the Chinese XI Olympics team 2-0 and hence set a record of defeating the foreign clubs.  The club then won the 1949 Rovers Cup. During that period, the club also won three consecutive IFA shields in 1949, 1950 and 1951. In 1950 The East Bengal FC won the D.C.M trophy, which was presented to them by the then prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. The club then went on a tour to the Soviet Union and Romania in 1953 where they were heavily defeated by a score difference of 13-1 by Soviet team. 

1960-1980 Era

This Era is considered as a winning Era for the East Bengal FC team as they won Rovers Cup six times (1962, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973 and 1975) and Durand Cup five times (1960, 1967, 1970, 1972 and 1978). The club won the 1970 IFA Shield by defeating the Pas Club of Iran by 1-0. In 1973 the East Bengal Football club defeated the Piyong Yong Football Club of Korea in IFA Shield finals and won the D. C. M  tournament by defeating the Dok-Ro-Gang football club of Korea. In the final of the Bordoloi trophy in Guwahati, they defeated the Port Authority of Thailand in the year 1978. The Red and the Gold team also won the Federation Cup in the year 1978 and 1980.

1980-2000 Era

The East India Football Club won the Federation Cup in the year 1985 and 1996. In 1985, they became the first football club to represent the country in the finals of the Asian Cup Championship at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The team won the Stafford Cup in 1986 and in 1990 again won three tournaments in a row. These tournaments were the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup, and the Rover’s Cup. In 1993 East Bengal FC won its first international title, the Wai Wai Cup in Nepal. They had a notable win against the Al Jawra team (Iraq) by 6-2. In 1998 the club management signed a contract with Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries Group and hence was called Kingfisher East India Football Club.

2000-present Era

East Bengal FC became the first Indian club to win the NFL for three consecutive years 2000-2001, 2003 and 2004 and won the Durand Cup twice in 2002 and 2004. In 2001 East Bengal became the first club in Indian to launch its merchandise. In 2003, East Bengal football club won the prestigious ASEAN tournament at Jakarta and added a golden chapter in the history of Indian Football. 

Leicester City football club, England was celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2004 and invited the East Bengal FC for a friendly tournament, where they received the greatest honor of being welcomed by the then deputy prime minister, Mr. John Prescott. It is not hidden from anyone that East Bengal FC has a huge fan following around the world. Taking this into consideration FIFA president Mr. Joseph. S. Blatter visited the East Bengal tent on 15th April 2007, to discover more about India’s Football Pride: East Bengal FC.  In June 2007, the club’s U-15 team qualified for Manchester United Premium Cup World Finals and got a word of praise from the English Legend Sir Bobby Charlton for their hunger for fight. 

In 2008, the team was victorious over Al Wihdat, Jordan, which was a prestigious victory for the Indian team in West Asia. The club won the Federation Cup in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 and also won the Super Cup in 2006 and 2011. In 2013, the East Bengal FC became the first Indian team to qualify for AFC Cup four years in a row, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2016, the club again won the Kolkata League eight times in a row from 2010-2017. In 2018 the Quess corporation signed a contract with East Bengal Football Club to form a different entity QEBFC.

The Current East Bengal Football Club Squad

Coach

Alejandro Menendez is the Head coach of the team, Bastab Roy is the coach and HOD of the youth development department. Josep Ferre is the assistant coach and Abhra Mandal is the GoalKeeper coach. Carlos Nodar Paz is the physical trainer and Rudra Roy is the strength and conditioning coach.

Physiotherapist

Karuna Kant is the physical trainer and Shashi Bhushan Kuldy is the assistant physiotherapist.

The Playing Squad

Goalkeepers

Lalthuammawia Ralte, Mirshad Koottappunna, and Rakshit Daggar are the goalkeepers.

Defenders

Manoj Md., Abhishek Ambekar, Mehtab Singh, Marti Crespi, Samad Ali Mallick, Asheer Akhtar, Borja Gomez, and Kamalpreet Singh.

Midfielders

Abhijit Sirkar, Jaimie Santos Colado, Boithang Haokip, Pintu Mahata, Naorem Tondomba Singh, Kassim Aidara, LalRindika Ralte, Juan Mera,  Brandon Vanlalremdika, Prakash Sarkar, P. C. Rohlupia and Subhonil Ghosh. 

Forward

Marcos de La Espada, Ronaldo Oliviera, and Bidyashagar singh.

Current News about East Bengal Football club

Currently in the 2019-2020 I-League season, East Bengal FC stands on top with 8 points.

So, this is all the information we want to share with our readers regarding East Bengal FC. If we have missed out on some important points then please share with us in the comments section.

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