East Bengal F.C.

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East Bengal Club
East Bengal F.C. Logo.png
Full name East Bengal Football Club
Nickname(s) Red and Gold Brigade
Founded 1 August 1920; 96 years ago (1920-08-01)
Ground Salt Lake Stadium
Ground Capacity 85,000
Owner United Breweries Group
Manager Mridul Banerjee
League I-League
I-League, 3rd
Website Club home page
Current season

East Bengal Football Club is a professional football club, based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It currently competes in the I-League, the top tier of Indian football. The club has won three National Football League (India) (later named as I league) titles, eight Federation Cups, and three Indian Super Cups, among others. The club is the current holder of the Calcutta Football League.

East Bengal has represented India more than any other team in the Asian competitions, with its best performance being a semi-final berth in the AFC Cup 2013. East Bengal also won ASEAN Club Championship in 2003.

The club has a long-standing rivalry with the other major Kolkata club Mohun Bagan, with whom it competes in the renowned Kolkata derby. East Bengal also shares a rivalry with Kolkata side Mohammedan SC.

History[edit]

1920-1930s[edit]

On 28 July 1920 Mohun Bagan were scheduled to play Jorabagan in the Coochbehar Cup.[1] Jorabagan sent out their starting eleven but with the notable exclusion of defender Sailesh Bose who was dropped from the squad for reasons not disclosed.[1] The vice-president of Jorabagan, Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri, asked for Bose to be included in the line-up but the club coaches did not listen.[1] Chaudhuri left the club due to this and along with Raja Manmatha Nath Chaudhuri, Ramesh Chandra Sen, and Aurobinda Ghosh, formed East Bengal on 1 August 1920; 97 years ago.[1]

The club then participated in their first tournament in the same month of their formation in the Hercules Cup which was a 7-a-side tournament.[1] East Bengal won the tournament. After the tournament the club became affiliated with the Indian Football Association. The club then entered league play in the IFA Second Division.[1] The club finished in third place in the first season in the Second Division.[1]

In 1924 the club won the Second Division to gain promotion to the IFA First Division after finishing in second place to Cameroons "B".[1] Due to Cameroons "A" being in the First Division already the "B" team could not gain promotion and thus East Bengal were next in line for promotion.[1] However more controversy arrose after it was found out that the IFA only allowed two Indian based clubs in the IFA First Division (back then the IFA was British organization) and during the governing body meeting the nine British clubs approved of allowing East Bengal. After this the IFA removed the Indian club limit rule.[1]

1940s–1970s[edit]

It took the club till 1942 to win their first IFA First Division title.[2] Then in 1943 the club won their first IFA Shield. The club then achieved the double in 1945 by winning both the Calcutta Football League and IFA Shield.[2] The club then went on to win the 1949 Rovers Cup and the Durand Cup in 1951. Within that time the club also won three straight IFA Shields (1949, 1950, 1951).[2] The club then partook in a tour to the Soviet Union and Romania in 1953, where they were heavily defeated by Soviet side by a margin of 13–1.[2] Again the club won Rovers Cup several times during this era (1962, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975) as well as Durand Cup in (1952, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1978). The club stunned everyone by winning the 1970 IFA Shield against Pas Club of Iran by 1–0. Later the club gained more respect by winning 1973 IFA Shield against Pyongyang City SC of North Korea[3] The club then grew their reputation after winning the Calcutta Football League for six straight years from 1970 to 1975.[3]

1980s–1990s[edit]

Then in 1984 Mr. Dipak Das came into the club and revamped it. He brought in professionalism and turned the club into a professionally ran company.[3] The club won Federation Cup in 1980 and again in 1985. They also became the first Indian club to play in the newly redone Asian Club Championship in 1985.[3] The club then won their first treble in 1990 by winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, and Durand Cup in one season.[3] The club also won the "Stafford Cup" (1986), "McDowell's Cup" (1995, 1997). In 1993, East Bengal FC won its first ever international title i.e. Wai Wai Cup in Nepal.[3] The club also won Federation Cup (India), IFA Shield, Calcutta Football League, Durand Cup and Rovers Cup, several times during this period. In 1996 the club became the founding members of the first nationwide football league in India, the National Football League.[4]

In 1998, "Das" signed with Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Group which then formed a new Private Limited Company called "United East Bengal Football Team Private Limited".[3] The club also renamed itself as Kingfisher East Bengal FC from then on.[3]

Recent history[edit]

The club then entered the 21st century in style winning the 2000–01 National Football League season.[5] Then they became the first club to win back to back titles after winning the 2002–03 and 2003–04 versions of the league and coming runners up in 2010–11 and 2011–12 in the I-League.[5] The club then went on to win the Federation Cup (India) again in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.[5] They also won the Indian Super Cup in 2006 and 2011.[5] The club had won another international trophy in 2003, ASEAN Club Championship, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The club went in the semi-finals of the reputed AFC Cup in 2013 where they lost against Kuwait SC of Kuwait.

In 2016, East Bengal completes a new record of winning CFL i.e. from 2010 till 2016 (7 times a row) which is highest by any club in the world to win any league so many times consecutively.

Crest[edit]

In 1930, India was swept over by Gandhi’s Satyagraha which had an effect on football. Indian clubs boycotted the ongoing Calcutta Football League midway through the season due to this. Amidst much confusion, Royal Regiment was declared winners in the first division. However, East Bengal was not allowed to be promoted to the First Division. Thousands of East Bengal fans and officials decided to hold a protest march at the East Bengal Ground. It was at this march that flaming torches were carried by the protestors. This gave the club officials the idea of a torch (known as 'Mashal' or 'মশাল' in Bengali) being the club emblem, which has stuck to this day.[6]

Colours[edit]

The colours of East Bengal FC are red and gold. So the home jersey consists of a red and gold jersey with black shorts while the colour of away jersey actually varies on every year.

The reason for these colours is because after the club was formed the founders debated over the choice of colours for the club jersey. They choose a red and golden colour shirt hanging impressively at the "Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co." departmental store at Chowringhee, Kolkata. These colours became permanently associated with the club.[7]

Stadiums[edit]

Historically, the club has used several stadiums at Kolkata, Howrah and Barasat, including the Eden Gardens, which has been reserved for cricket since Salt Lake Stadium opened in 1984.

Salt Lake Stadium[edit]

The Salt Lake Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal. The stadium is the second largest non-auto racing stadium in the world and the largest in India. It is currently used for mainly football matches. The stadium was built in 1984, has got a capacity of 85,000 people. The stadium has three tiers.[8] The stadium includes a unique running track, long jump track, electronic scoreboard, natural turf, floodlighting arrangement, air conditioned VIP rest room and Conference Hall along with Medical Room & Doping Control Room.[8] Other features of the stadium are boxes for TV along with several platforms for TV cameras, press boxes, air conditioned player's changing rooms.

The Salt Lake Stadium

The Salt Lake Stadium hosts the home games of East Bengal in I-League and AFC Cup.

East Bengal Ground[edit]

The East Bengal Ground is another stadium in Kolkata, India. This stadium has natural grass turf. This stadium is associated with the club and is actually East Bengal F.C.'s home ground. The stadium lies on the Maidan (Kolkata) area on the northern side of Fort William and near to the Eden Gardens. Other features of the stadium are like elevator, commentary box, press box, etc. The club has got air conditioned dressing rooms for players, modern gymnasium, coffee shop and other advanced facilities. This stadium is currently used mostly for football matches of Calcutta Football League and is the home stadium of East Bengal in most of the Calcutta Football League matches. The stadium holds 23,500 people.[8]

Barasat Stadium[edit]

Barasat Stadium is also a stadium used by East Bengal club to play some of its regional matches, specially in case if the Salt Lake Stadium or East Bengal Ground cannot be used for any reason.

This stadium has natural grass turf and comes with proper floodlights to support night matches unlike the East Bengal Ground.

Kanchenjunga Stadium[edit]

Kanchenjunga Stadium, a multipurpose stadium based in Siliguri has been used several times to host football matches for East Bengal Club. The club has a huge fan base there.

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 15 January 2017.[9]

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 Subhasish Roy Chowdhury
31 India GK Dibyendu Sarkar
2 India DF Robin Gurung (on loan from NorthEast United)
3 India DF Arnab Mondal
5 India DF Rahul Bheke
16 India DF Gurwinder Singh
17 India DF Narayan Das
India DF Lalramchullova
India DF Mehtab Singh
India DF Rahul Ghosh
8 India MF Mohammed Rafique
23 India MF Bikash Jairu
25 India MF Rowllin Borges
No. Position Player
27 India MF Nikhil Poojari
34 India MF Abhinas Ruidas
Syria MF Mahmoud Amnah
India MF Brandon Vanlalremdika
India MF Richard Costa
India MF Prakash Sarkar
India MF Yami Langbha
India MF Vidyasagar Singh
24 India FW Robin Singh (on loan from FC Goa)
India FW Lalchanhima
India FW T Suranjit

Coaching Staff[edit]

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

No. Position Player Position Name[10]
Head coach India Mridul Banerjee
1st Assistant Coach India Ranjan Chowdhury
Goalkeeper Coach India Abhijit Mondal
Club Doctor India Dr. Shantiranjan Dasgupta
Team Media Officer India Gautam Roy

Official sponsors[edit]

The club's current sponsors' list-

Types Names
Main Kingfisher Premium
Kit Sponsor Shiv Naresh
Co Sponsors Bluechip Projects, Shyam Steel

Honours[edit]

The club has won a total of 137 trophies so far that includes both national and international trophies. Few of them are listed below.[11]

International[edit]

Champions (1): 2003
Group Stage (1): 1985
Round 1 (1): 1998–99
Semifinal (1): 2013
Quarter-finals (1): 2004
Group Stage (6): 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
Quarter-finals (1): 1991-92.

National[edit]

Champions (3): 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04
Champions (8): 1978, 1980, 1985, 1996, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012
Champions (3): 1997, 2006, 2011
Champions (38): 1942, 1945, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1961, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Champions (28): 1943, 1945, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1958, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975,1976, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2012
Champions (16): 1951, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1972,1978, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2002, 2004
Champions (10): 1949, 1962, 1967, 1969,1972. 1973, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1994

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "THE RISE OF EAST BENGAL CLUB". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "1940S TO 1960S". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "1970S TO 1990S". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/india97.html#nfl1 1996–97 NFL India
  5. ^ a b c d "CONTINUING THE LEGACY". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  6. ^ 1930s: The Dark Decade
  7. ^ "THE RISE OF EAST BENGAL CLUB". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "SALT LAKE STADIUM". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Senior Team". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to the home of Kingfisher East Bengal Football Club.". Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Welcome to the home of Kingfisher East Bengal Football Club.". Retrieved 23 July 2016. 

External links[edit]