Bengaluru FC

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Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC logo.svg
Full name Bengaluru Football Club
Nickname(s) The Blues
Founded 20 July 2013; 3 years ago (2013-07-20)[1]
Ground Sree Kanteerava Stadium,
Bengaluru, Karnataka
Ground Capacity 24,000
Owner JSW Group
Chairman Sajjan Jindal
Head coach Albert Roca
League I-League
2015–16 I-League, 1st (champions)
Website Club home page
Current season

Bengaluru Football Club is an Indian professional football club based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The club participates in the I-League, India's top-tier football league. It is the first ever club to have won the I-League in its debut season.[1] The team is currently owned by Mumbai-based company, JSW Group and its managing director is Sajjan Jindal.[1] The club's home ground is the 24,000 seater Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Formed in July 2013, the club has established itself as a premier footballing establishment in the country with a strong community focus, modeled on the lines of the football club structure in England and other European countries. The club has launched various programs for the football loving youth of the city. In April 2014, the club launched the first BFC Soccer School in the city with an aim to capture budding young football talent. Other initiatives include the BFC in the Community program which is mainly a social responsibility program for the club support around the city. The program is currently headed by John Killa.

History[edit]

Inception[edit]

Around the beginning of January 2013, word managed to get out that the Mumbai Tigers (then Dodsal FC) had failed to register on time for the upcoming 2013 I-League 2nd Division campaign and that they could instead get direct-entry into the I-League, India's top-tier football league, through a cash payment to the All India Football Federation, the main football association for the sport in India, and a promise to create a stadium within Mumbai, Maharashtra by 2017.[2] Later that month on 12 January it was announced that the All India Football Federation had called for an executive meeting on the 15th to discuss the proposal of handing select companies direct-spots into the 2013–14 I-League.[3] This news came following the uncertainly over the participation of institutional clubs, Air India FC and ONGC and the temporarily banned side Mohun Bagan for the 2013–14 season.[3]

On 15 January 2013 it was officially announced that during the AIFF meeting that, in an effort to make the league more "pan-Indian", the federation would be accepting bids from corporate groups for two new direct-entry clubs for the 2013–14 season.[4] The bidding companies would have to guarantee a team that would play outside both Kolkata and Goa and that would also commit to building-up new infrastructure.[4] The winning bids would be announced in March and they will also be replacements for the institutional clubs Air India and ONGC.[4]

On 8 March 2013 it was reported that the JSW Group were interested in bidding for an automatic place in the I-League after contemplating whether to create one in the past in Bengaluru.[5] It was also reported that AR Khaleel, a senior official with the AIFF, had suggested that Bengaluru could be a host venue for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, if India wins the hosting rights, and that the corporate team could help build up infrastructure and create a world-class stadium by 2017 in the city.[5] On 15 May 2013 it was announced that the All India Football Federation had officially received three-bids for the two direct-entry spots.[6] The bids came from JSW Group, Dodsal Group, and a consortium from Kerala.[6]

Finally, on 28 May 2013, it was officially announced that JSW Group had won the franchise rights to the direct-club in Bengaluru and that it would be spearheaded by the companies sports branch, JSW Sports.[7] The team would play all home games in Bengaluru while setting up a youth academy there. They would also try to make better football infrastructure for the city.[7] Then on 20 July 2013, almost two months after winning the bid for a team, JSW launched the team officially as Bengaluru Football Club by throwing a mega-electric event at the Bangalore Football Stadium, which would be announced as the home for Bengaluru FC during the season.[1] Along with the club name and stadium, the club crest and colours were also unveiled as well as the team's home kit for the season and the squad.[1]

Ashley Westwood Era (2013–2016)[edit]

As soon as JSW won the rights to a direct-entry side they went straight into the market for players with one of their first being Thoi Singh who last played for Mumbai Tigers in the I-League 2nd Division.[8] Then on 2 July 2013 it was announced that JSW had signed former Manchester United youth player and former Blackburn Rovers assistant manager Ashley Westwood as the club's very first head coach.[9] The club then made more headlines on 16 July 2013 when it was announced that the side had completed the signings of former Premier League defender John Johnson and former Football League Two defender Curtis Osano as two of its foreign players.[10] Three days later it was confirmed that JSW had signed current India national football team captain and former Major League Soccer player Sunil Chhetri after he was released from Sporting Portugal B, thus further strengthening the side.[11]

Bengaluru then played their first ever match in a friendly against the India national football team on 25 August 2013 in the country's preparation for the 2013 SAFF Championship in which Bengaluru drew 1–1 with Johnny Menyongar scoring the first goal of the match before India equalized through Lenny Rodrigues.[12] The club then played their first ever official match in the I-League on 22 September 2013 against Mohun Bagan A.C. at the Bangalore Football Stadium.[13] After a scoreless first-half Bengaluru scored their first ever official goal in the 49th minute to take the lead through Sean Rooney.[13] However, in injury-time, Mohun Bagan managed to draw a goal back through Chinadorai Sabeeth and thus the match ended in a 1–1 stalemate.[13] The club then won their first ever match in the I-League in their very next match against Rangdajied United F.C. at the Bangalore Football Stadium on 29 September 2013 in which goals from John Johnson, Sean Rooney, and Sunil Chhetri saw the team win the match 3–0 in front of their home fans.[14]

Bengaluru FC then played their very first away match ever on 26 October 2013 against East Bengal F.C. at the Kalyani Stadium.[15] Unfortunately that match would also turn out to be the very first match that Bengaluru FC would lose in, after they fell 2–0 from a goal by James Moga and an own-goal from Robin Singh.[15] The club would then eventually win their first away match in club history on 26 November 2013 against Salgaocar F.C. at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa, Goa.[16] Goals from Johnny Menyongar and Beikhokhei Beingaichho lead Bengaluru FC to a historic 2–1 victory.[16]

Then, in January 2014, the club participated in their first ever senior domestic cup tournament when they took part in the 2013–14 Indian Federation Cup.[17] The team was placed in Group B along with East Bengal, Rangdajied United, and Sporting Goa. The club's first match of the tournament occurred on 15 January 2014 against Sporting Goa at the Malappuram District Sports Complex Stadium in which the team won the match by a scoreline of 5–3.[18] However, that would turn out to be Bengaluru FC's only victory of the tournament as they would go on to draw and lose their next matches, thus knocking them out.[19]

On 21 April 2014, the club beat Dempo FC 4–2 in a thrilling encounter to claim the I-League and also the club's first trophy.[20]

In 2014–15 season, Bengaluru FC won their first ever Federation Cup by defeating Dempo 2–1 in the final on 11 January 2015. The club began I-League campaign as defending champions and seemed on track to defend the title until the dying minutes of the last game against Mohun Bagan, who scored an equalizer in 87th minute, enough to secure their first I-League title. However, Bengaluru FC ended the season with 13 games unbeaten streak. Bengaluru FC also participated in the AFC championship for the first time, where the played in the qualifying round in 2016 AFC Champions League and reached Round of 16 in 2016 AFC Cup.

In 2015–16 season, Bengaluru secured its second I-League title by beating Salgaocar F.C 2–0 at home on 17 April 2016. Bengaluru FC also made it to the quarter finals of the AFC Cup for the very first time in the history after defeating Kitchee S.C. 3–2 in Round of 16.[21] At the end of the season, Ashley Westwood and the club decided to part ways on mutual consent.[22]

Albert Roca Era (2016–present)[edit]

Bengaluru FC appointed former FC Barcelona assistant coach Albert Roca as the head coach for two seasons.[23] In his first game in charge of the club, Bengaluru FC won 1-0 against Tampines Rovers in the first leg of the quarter finals of the AFC Cup, 2016. Subsequently, it went on to become the third Indian team to qualify for the semi finals of the tournament. Under Roca, on 19 October 2016 Bengaluru FC became the first Indian team to qualify for the finals of the AFC Cup by defeating defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. 3-1 at home in the 2nd leg of the semi finals. On the 5th of November, Bengaluru F.C. competed against the Iraqi outfit Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in the finals of the 2016 AFC Cup finals at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar. However, Bengaluru emerged as runners-up- being defeated by Al Quwa by a narrow margin of 1-0.[24] Bengaluru F.C. became the first Indian football club to reach the finals of the aforementioned competition.

Colours and badge[edit]

Unveiled during the 21 July JSW launch, the crest features the Bangalore Palace coloured in white in order to symbolize "victory" from when the Wodeyars won the palace back.[25] The pride, resilience, and pride of the people of Bengaluru is represented by a picture of a blue Gandaberunda – a mythical two headed bird that is said to possess magical might – in the middle of the crest.[25] The use of the Gandaberunda is from the coat of arms for the state of Karnataka and is the symbol of the state.[25] On 24 January 2015, Bengaluru revealed Eddie The Eagle as its official mascot.[26]

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2013—2014 None JSW
2014—present Puma

In July 2014, Bengaluru signed a deal with Puma as their official kit sponsors from the 2014–15 season.[27]

Kit evolution[edit]

2013–14
2014–15
2015–16
2016–present

Stadium[edit]

Bengaluru FC plays all its matches at the Bangalore Football Stadium which is located at the heart of the city. The West stand is the largest and can accommodate maximum number of people. The West stand also houses the VIP boxes during I-League and other major matches. During the launch of the club it was announced that the team would play at the Bangalore Football Stadium for the 2013–14 I-League season.[1] The Bangalore Football Stadium is a 15,000 capacity football stadium which uses astroturf.[28] From the 2014–15 season the club playing their matches at the 24,000 capacity Sree Kanteerava Stadium.[29]

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

Sunil Chhetri, the first captain of Bengaluru FC.
As of 18 September 2016[30]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 India GK Amrinder Singh
2 Spain DF Juanan
3 India DF Nanjangud Shivananju Manju
5 India DF Keegan Pereira
6 England DF John Johnson
11 India FW Sunil Chhetri Captain
13 India DF Rino Anto
14 India MF Eugeneson Lyngdoh
16 India MF Shankar Sampingiraj
17 India FW Seminlen Doungel
18 India MF Beikhokhei Beingaichho
No. Position Player
20 India MF Alwyn George
21 India FW Udanta Singh
22 India DF Nishu Kumar
23 India DF Lalchhuan Mawia
24 India DF Salam Ranjan Singh
25 India FW Daniel Lalhlimpuia
26 Australia MF Cameron Watson
28 India GK Lalthuammawia Ralte
30 India MF Malsawmzuala
31 India FW C.K. Vineeth
India DF Gursimrat Singh Gill

Current technical staff[edit]

Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC's head coach
As of 11 July 2016.[31]
Position Name
Head Coach Spain Albert Roca
Assistant Coach Spain Carles Cuadrat
Goalkeeping Coach Turkey Ali Uzunhasanoglu
Head of Youth Development Netherlands John Killa
Under-19 coach England Louis Nickson
Performance analyst England Matt Holland
Head physiotherapist England Samuel Coleman
Head of sports sciences England Donavan Pillai

Support[edit]

Bengaluru FC is reputed for one of the most vocal fanbases in India. The fans are known as the West Block Blues, named such after West Block A in the Bangalore Football Stadium.[32][33] The players and the coach have often acknowledged the fans' support in the success and called them The 12th Man.[34][35][36]

Team Records[edit]

Overview[edit]

Season Division Teams Position Federation Cup Durand Cup AFC competition(s)
2013–14 I-League 13 1 Group stage
2014–15 I-League 11 2 Winner Semi Final AFC Champions League Qualifying
AFC Cup Round of 16
2015–16 I-League 9 1 Quarter Final AFC Cup Runner-up
2016–17 I-League 9 AFC Champions League TBD

Overall records[edit]

As of 31 May 2016
Season I-League Asia Top Scorer
P W D L GF GA Pts Position P W D L GF GA Player Goals
2013–14 24 14 5 5 42 28 47 1st India Sunil Chhetri 15
2014–15 20 10 7 3 35 19 37 2nd 8 4 0 4 9 12 India Sunil Chhetri 14
2015–16 16 10 2 4 24 17 32 1st 7 4 0 3 12 12 India Sunil Chhetri 9
2016–17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Head Coach's Record[edit]

As of 17 October 2016
Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win%
Ashley Westwood  England 2 July 2013 31 May 2016 89 49 17 23 144 103 55.06
Albert Roca  Spain 6 July 2016 5 2 2 1 5 3 40.00

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners (2): 2013–14, 2015–16
Runner Up (1): 2014–15
Winners (1): 2014–15

International[edit]

Runner Up (1): 2015–16

Performance in AFC competitions[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "JSW Sports launches Bengaluru FC". I-League. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dodsal FC might get a direct entry in next year's I-League". Kick Off India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Mergulhao, Marcus. "AIFF chief proposes direct entry for teams in I-League". Times of India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "AIFF lifts ban on Mohun Bagan, let off with Rs 2 crore fine". Times of India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Babu Cyriac, Biju. "I-League: Jindal Group back in talks". Times of India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "JSW, two others bid for new I-League clubs". Business Standard. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Mazumdar, Rakhi. "JSW bags franchisee rights for Bengaluru team in I-league, group forays into football". Economic Times. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Indian Football Transfer Gossip: Thoi Singh to shift his base from Mumbai Tigers to JSW Bangalore, Malswamtulunga set to join hands with East Bengal". Kick Off India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ashley Westwood appointed JSW coach for upcoming I-League season". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "JSW add Premier League touch to squad". I-League. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "India captain Sunil Chhetri signs for I-League new entrants JSW". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Bengaluru FC vs Indian national team". bengalurufc.com. 
  13. ^ a b c "Bengaluru FC hold Mohun Bagan to 1–1 draw". IBN Live. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Bengaluru FC eases past Rangdajied United". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "East Bengal end Bengaluru's unbeaten run in I-League". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Bengaluru FC move to second spot in I-League". Times of India. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Federation Cup 2013–14 to kickoff on Jan 14 with 16 teams". Zee News. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Federation Cup: Bengaluru FC register 5–3 win over Sporting Clube de Goa". NDTV Sport. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Federation Cup: East Bengal knock out Bengaluru FC, Mohun Bagan to play Churchill". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Bengaluru FC edge past Dempo SC 4–2 to win maiden I-League title". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Netto, Brendon (25 May 2016). "AFC Cup: Kitchee SC 2–3 Bengaluru FC: Sunil Chhetri scores two as Blues progress to quarter-finals". goal.com. 
  22. ^ "Bengaluru FC, Westwood part ways by mutual consent". www.bengalurufc.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  23. ^ "I-League: Bengaluru FC appoint Spaniard Albert Roca as new head coach". Goal.com. 6 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "AFC Cup Report: Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 1-0 Bengaluru FC: Air Force Club fly in champions orbit as Bengaluru can't span wings to title". 
  25. ^ a b c "The club crest decoded: Everything BFC stands for". Bengaluru FC (Facebook). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "The big signing we told you about has just walked the field – Eddie the eagle! BFC now has a new mascot, people! #BFCvDEM". Twitter. 24 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Puma is the official kit sponsor of Bengaluru FC". goal.com. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  28. ^ Ameerudheen, TA. "Turf inauguration put off in Bangalore football stadium". Times of India. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "Move on Stadium May Hit Football Future". 5 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "Squad". Bengaluru Football Club. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  31. ^ "Bengaluru FC fortify first team staff". Bengaluru FC. 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "'We shall be victorious one day'". All India Football Federation. 10 November 2015. 
  33. ^ "BFC fans give Bangalore football an 'ultra' flavour". Times of India. 27 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "Robin Singh: Fans Played The Biggest Part In Our Title Win". 24 February 2015. 
  35. ^ Arjun V Namboothiri. "Ashley Westwood: Special thanks to the fans". Goal.com. 
  36. ^ Akash Manjunath (9 April 2014). "Bengaluru FC's Home Support: Their 12th man!". Goal.com. 

External links[edit]