East Bengal F.C.

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Kingfisher East Bengal FC
Kf east bengal logo.png
Full name Kingfisher East Bengal FC
Nickname(s) Red & Gold Brigade
Founded 1920 (1920) as East Bengal Club
Ground Salt Lake Stadium, East Bengal Ground
Ground Capacity 68,000 (Salt Lake Stadium),[1] 23,500 (East Bengal Ground), 22,000 (Barasat Stadium), 3,000 (Kalyani Stadium)
Owner United Breweries Group
Chairman Vijay Mallya
Manager Biswajit Bhattacharya
League I-League
2015-16 Yet to Start
Website Club home page
Current season

East Bengal Football Club is an Indian football club based at Kolkata, West Bengal. It currently competes in the I-League, the top-tier of Indian football pyramid. The club has won 3 National Football League titles and 8 Federation Cups. After the conclusion of the 2014–15 I-League, East Bengal became the one of the two clubs in India that has remained in the topmost level of the national football pyramid since it was launched in 1996 as National Football League (India), besides Mohun Bagan. The club is the current holder of the Calcutta Football League. The club has represented India the most number of times in the Asian competitions, with its best performance being a semi-final berth in the AFC Cup 2013. East Bengal had also won ASEAN Club Championship in 2003.

East Bengal was founded in 1920 in Kolkata. With the start of the National Football League in 1996, East Bengal was one of the original teams to have participated in the league and is the only team to have remained in the top-flight of the country since then. East Bengal team enjoys one of the biggest ever fan base in the history of Indian football and has 1.3 million likes in its official Facebook page.

The club has a long-standing rivalry with neighbours Mohun Bagan AC, with whom it contests the Kolkata derby.


Brazilian legend Zico in East Bengal tent
Further information: Football in Kolkata

On 28 July 1920 Mohun Bagan were scheduled to play Jorabagan in the Coochbehar Cup.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[2] The club finished in third place in the first season in the Second Division.[2]

In 1924 the club won the Second Division to gain promotion to the IFA First Division after finishing in second place to Cameroons "B".[2] 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.[2] 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 but the two Indian clubs (Mohun Bagan and Aryans Club) did not approve but majority votes allowed East Bengal into the IFA First Division.[2] After this the IFA removed the Indian club limit rule.[2]

It took the club till 1942 to win their first IFA First Division title.[3] 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.[3] 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, and 1951).[3] The club then partook in a tour to the Soviet Union and Romania in 1953.[3] The club then went on to win the 1973 IFA Shield against Pyongyang City Sports Club of North Korea.[4]

The club then grew their reputation after winning the Calcutta Football League for six straight years from 1970 to 1975.[4] They also won the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup during those years.[4] They even won the quadruple in 1972 by winning the Calcutta League, IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup in one season.[4] Then in 1984 Dipak Das came into the club and revamped it. He brought in professionalism and turned the club into a professionally ran company.[4] The club also went on to win the second edition of the Federation Cup in 1978 and then again in 1980 and again in 1985. They also became the first Indian club to play in the newly redone Asian Club Championship in 1985-86.[4] The club then won the triple again in 1990 by winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, and Durand Cup in one season.[4] The club also won the Wai Wai Cup in Nepal in 1993.[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".[4] The club also renamed itself as Kingfisher East Bengal from then on.[4] The club then became the first Indian club to win an international competition in 2003 after they won the ASEAN Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.[5] In 1996 the club became the founding members of the first nationwide football league in India, the National Football League.[6]

The club then entered the 21st century in style winning the 2000–01 National Football League season.[5] They then 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 again in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.[5] They also won the Indian Super Cup twice in 2006 and 2011.[5]


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, in spite of being well ahead in the second division, was not allowed to be promoted to the First Division. They suspected Mohun Bagan’s hand behind the league boycott to thwart East Bengal’s promotion 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 being the club emblem, which has stuck to this day.[7]


The colours of East Bengal are red and gold. The home jersey consists of a red and gold jersey with black shorts and red socks while the away jersey consists of a white jersey and white socks and black shorts.

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. These colours became permanently associated with the club.[8]


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.

The Salt Lake Stadium which East Bengal uses for most matches

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 and holds 68,000 people and has three tiers.[9]

The stadium includes a unique running track, electronic scoreboard, artificial turf, floodlighting arrangement, air conditioned VIP rest room and Conference Hall along with Medical Room & Doping Control Room.[9] 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 hosts the home games of East Bengal in I-League.

East Bengal Ground[edit]

The East Bengal Ground is another stadium in Kolkata, India. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of East Bengal in Calcutta Football League matches. The stadium holds 23,500 people.[9]

The football stadium's grass is natural grass turf. Other features of the stadium are also commentary boxes for Radio and TV, air conditioned player changing rooms along and a gym.

This stadium though lacks in a major facility of floodlights as there are no flood lights in this stadium.

Barasat Stadium[edit]

This ground is also used by East Bengal FC to play some of its matches.

Barasat Stadium is also a stadium used by East Bengal to play some of its regional matches.

This stadium comes with proper floodlights to support night matches unlike the East Bengal Ground.

Kalyani Stadium[edit]

East Bengal also plays few matches at the Kalyani Stadium

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Sponsors type Sponsor's name
Main sponsor United Breweries Group-Kingfisher
Co-sponsor SRMB TMT Bars
Kit sponsor Shiv Naresh
Other sponsors Adamas


First-team squad[edit]

As of 01 August 2015.[10]

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

No. Position Player
3 India DF Arnab Mondal
5 India DF Rahul Bheke
6 Nigeria DF Bello Razaq
7 India MF Harmanjot Khabra
8 India MF Mohammed Rafique
9 India MF Alvito D'Cunha
10 Nigeria FW Ranti Martins
11 India MF Cavin Lobo (Captain)
12 India DF Deepak Mondal
14 India MF Mehtab Hossain
16 India DF Gurwinder Singh
17 India MF Joaquim Abranches
19 India DF Robert Lalthlamuana
20 India MF Lalrindika Ralte
21 South Korea FW Do Dong-hyun
No. Position Player
23 India MF Bikash Jairu
24 India DF Babu Mondal
25 India FW Jiten Murmu
26 India GK Abhra Mondal
28 India MF Shylo Malsawmtluanga
29 India DF Saumik Dey
30 India GK Luis Barreto
33 India MF Anthony Soren
34 India MF Abhinas Ruidas
36 India MF Prohlad Roy
38 India DF Samad Ali Mallick
- India GK Dibyendu Sarkar
- India MF Avinabo Bag
- India MF Jaganath Sana
- India FW Baichung Bhutia
- India FW Chinadorai Sabeeth

Current technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager India Biswajit Bhattacharya
Assistant Manager Kenya Sammy Omollo
Assistant Manager/Mentor India Debjit Ghosh
Club Doctor India Dr. Shantiranjan Dasgupta
Physiotherapist India Rajesh Basak
Team Manager India Swapan Ball
Team Manager (AFC Cup) India Manish Banerjee
Technical Manager India Alvito D'Cunha
Media Officer India Gautam Roy

Honours - Kolkata Football League - 36 times


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

External links[edit]