East Bengal F.C.
|Full name||East Bengal Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Red & Gold Brigade.|
|Founded||1 August 1920; 97 years ago|
|Ground||East Bengal Ground, Salt Lake Stadium|
|Owner||United Breweries Group|
Calcutta Football League, 1st (Champions)
|Website||Club home page|
East Bengal Football Club (ইস্ট বেঙ্গল ফুটবল ক্লাব) is a professional football club, based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, it is the most consistent football club of India. It currently competes in the I-League, the top-tier of Indian football pyramid. The club has won 3 National Football League (India) (later named as I league) titles, 8 Federation Cups, 3 Indian Super Cups and many more. 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 FC was founded in 1920. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Crest
- 3 Colours
- 4 Stadiums
- 5 Players
- 6 Current Technical Staff
- 7 Official sponsors
- 8 Honours
- 9 References
- 10 External links
On 28 July 1920 Mohun Bagan were scheduled to play Jorabagan in the Coochbehar Cup. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. The club finished in third place in the first season in the Second Division.
In 1924 the club won the Second Division to gain promotion to the IFA First Division after finishing in second place to Cameroons "B". 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. 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.
It took the club till 1942 to win their first IFA First Division title. 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. 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). 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. 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 The club then grew their reputation after winning the Calcutta Football League for six straight years from 1970 to 1975.
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. 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. The club then won their first treble in 1990 by winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, and Durand Cup in one season. 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. 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.
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". The club also renamed itself as Kingfisher East Bengal FC from then on.
The club then entered the 21st century in style winning the 2000–01 National Football League season. 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. The club then went on to win the Federation Cup (India) again in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. They also won the Indian Super Cup in 2006 and 2011. The club had won another international trophy in 2003, ASEAN Club Championship, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
On 2015,East Bengal completes its second hexa CFL win. They have won it from 2010 till 2015. On the same year the club became runners up of Sheikh Kamal Cup in Bangladesh where they got defeated against Chittagong Abahani in the finals.
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.
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.
Salt Lake Stadium
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. 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. Other features of the stadium are boxes for TV along with several platforms for TV cameras, press boxes, air conditioned player's changing rooms.
East Bengal Ground
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.
This stadium has natural grass turf and comes with proper floodlights to support night matches unlike the East Bengal Ground.
- As of 25 Sept 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.