East Bengal F.C.

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East Bangal F.C.
ইস্ট বেঙ্গল এফ.সি.
Kf east bengal logo.png
Full name East Bengal Football Club
Nickname(s) Red & Gold brigade, Lal-Holud (লাল-হলুদ), German Club of India
Founded 1 August 1920 (1 August 1920); 95 years ago
Ground East Bengal Ground
Ground Capacity 23,500
Owner United Breweries Group
Manager Biswajit Bhattacharya
League I-league
Website Club home page
Current season
Active departments of East Bengal F.C.
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football (Men's) Football (Men's) U-18
Cricket pictogram.svg Table tennis pictogram.svg
Cricket (Men's) Table tennis

East Bengal Football Club (Bengali: ইস্ট বেঙ্গল ফুটবল ক্লাব) is a highly professional football club, based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is only one of the top seeded football clubs in the country. 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 from 2007 but has never won it) titles, 8 Federation Cups, 3 Indian Super Cups and many more. With the conclusion of the 2014–15 I-League, East Bengal F.C. is the only club 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). The club is the current holder of the Calcutta Football League and Indian Super Cup titles. 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 F.C. 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 has one of the biggest ever fanbase in the history of Indian football. It has more than 1.4 million likes in its official Facebook page. There are also various fan made pages in Facebook for the club.

The club has a long-standing rivalry with neighbours Mohun Bagan AC, with whom it contests the Kolkata derby. Also there exists another small derby between East Bengal and Mohammedan S.C. (Kolkata).


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.[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; 95 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 but the two Indian clubs (Mohun Bagan and Aryans Club) did not approve but majority votes allowed East Bengal into the IFA First Division.[1] After this the IFA removed the Indian club limit rule.[1]


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, and 1951).[2] The club then partook in a tour to the Soviet Union and Romania in 1953.[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 which was one of the heavy weight and much reputed football club of those days, by 1-0. Later the club gained more respect by winning 1973 IFA Shield against Pyongyang City Sports Club of North Korea, Dok-Ro-Gang Club of Korea in the final "D.C.M. Trophy" held at New Delhi in 1973, Port Authority Club of Thailand in the final of Bordoloi Trophy and so on. The club has quite good track records against foreign teams.[3] The club then grew their reputation after winning the Calcutta Football League for six straight years from 1970 to 1975.[3] They also won the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup during those years.[3] They even won the quadruple in 1972 by winning the Calcutta League, IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup in one season.[3] The club won their first Federation Cup of second edition in 1978.


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 1985-86.[3] The club then won the triple again 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), "Wai Wai Cup" in Nepal (1993).[3] The club also won Federation Cup (India), IFA Shield, Calcutta Football League, Durand Cup, 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 F.C. 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 an international trophy in 2003, ASEAN Club Championship, in Jakarta, Indonesia, defeating heavy weight clubs like BEC Tero Sasana F.C., Persegres Gresik United and others.[5]

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

The club holds the record of qualifying the AFC Cup for most numbers of time i.e. 8 times in total which is highest by any club till 2014.


World Ranking[6][edit]

Rank Country Club Points
508 Colombia Alianza Petrolera 1424
509 India East Bengal Club 1424
510 Ghana Asante Kotoko SC 1423

Last updated: 15 November 2015
Source: Footballdatabase.com

Asia Ranking[7][edit]

Rank Country Club Points
45 Indonesia Persija Jakarta 1424
46 India East Bengal Club 1424
47 India Churchill Brothers 1423

Last updated: 15 November 2015
Source: Footballdatabase.com

India Ranking[8][edit]

Rank Club Points
1 East Bengal Club 1424
2 Dempo SC 1424
3 Churchill Brothers 1423

Last updated: 15 November 2015
Source: Footballdatabase.com


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 A.C.’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 (known as 'Mashal' in Bengali) being the club emblem, which has stuck to this day.[9]


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.[10]


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 which East Bengal FC uses for most of its home matches

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, had capacity of 1,20,000 people. But from 2014 the capacity had been reduced. Now it holds 68,000 people. The stadium has three tiers.[11]

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.[11] 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 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 mother 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.[11]

Barasat Stadium[edit]

Barasat Stadium

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.


East Bengal showing the way for resurgence of Indian soccer, on July 3, 2003 received a further boost in its mission by roping in Reebok India Company as its official kit sponsor. With this, the 2002-03 National Football League champions, sponsored by the United Breweries Group, became the first Kolkata outfit to bag a co-sponsor.
In 2005, the Kolkata-based club has signed a three-year deal with Pony International headed by non-resident Indian 'Sudipta Dutta'. Later, the club also came into contract with Rose Valley and SARADA group, but due to some problems regarding monetary scams by the companies, the club had to withdraw its contract with those companies. A local corporate company named Tower Group, signed an understanding with the Red and Gold officials and have clinched a co-sponsorship deal for the 2010-11 season.
East Bengal, on January 7, 2014 announced SRMB TMT as one of its co-sponsors, which will primarily contribute in its youth development programme. The company(SRMB TMT bars), which has cricket legend Kapil Dev as its brand ambassador, has signed a four-year contract with the club.
On March 1, 2014 Sportskeeda reported that one of India’s leading sports wear, SHIV-NARESH, which was the official kit sponsorer for India in 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2014 Asian Games, has signed a multi-year apparel sponsorship deal with one of the most successful Indian clubs – East Bengal F.C.. The deal will see Shiv Naresh supply E.B.’s playing and replica in addition to a full range of branded sportswear and accessories. Current list of sponsorers for the club are as listed below-

Type of sponsors Name of sponsors
Main sponsor United Breweries Group - Kingfisher
Co-sponsor SRMB TMT Bars
Other sponsor ADAMAS
Kit sponsor Shiv Naresh

Players' List[edit]

Senior team squad[edit]

As of 11 November 2015.[12]

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(On Loan to Atlético de Kolkata)
5 India DF Rahul Bheke(On Loan to Kerala Blasters)
6 Nigeria DF Bello Razaq
7 India MF Harmanjot Khabra(On Loan to Chennaiyin FC)
8 India MF Mohammed Rafique(On Loan to Atlético de Kolkata)
9 India MF Alvito D'Cunha
10 Nigeria FW Ranti Martins
11 India MF Cavin Lobo(On Loan to Kerala Blasters)
12 India DF Deepak Mondal
14 India MF Mehtab Hossain(On Loan to Kerala Blasters)
15 India DF Abhishek Das(On loan to Chennaiyin FC)
16 India DF Gurwinder Singh) (Captain)
17 India MF Joaquim Abranches(On Loan to FC Goa)
19 India DF Robert Lalthlamuana(On Loan to Delhi Dynamos)
20 India MF Lalrindika Ralte
21 South Korea MF Do Dong-hyun
22 India MF Avinabo Bag
No. Position Player
23 India MF Bikash Jairu(On Loan to FC Pune City)
24 India DF Babu Mondal
25 India FW Jiten Murmu
26 India GK Abhra Mondal
28 India MF Shylo Malsawmtluanga(On Loan to Delhi Dynamos)
29 India DF Saumik Dey(On Loan to Kerala Blasters)
30 India GK Luis Barreto
31 India GK Dibyendu Sarkar
32 India MF Jaganath Sana
33 India MF Anthony Soren
34 India MF Abhinas Ruidas
35 India MF Tanmoy Kundu
36 India MF Prohlad Roy
37 India DF Johny Routh
38 India DF Samad Ali Mallick
- India FW Chinadorai Sabeeth(On Loan to FC Goa)

Officials & technical staffs[edit]

Position Name
Manager India Biswajit Bhattacharya
1st Assistant Manager Kenya Sammy Omollo
2nd Assistant Manager India Sanjay Majhi
3rd Assistant Manager 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


The club has won a total of 136 trophies so far that includes both national and international trophies. [13] Those are listed below-

₴ International Trophies ₴[edit]

Wai Wai Cup - NEPAL ---> 1

(Champions: 1993)

LG ASEAN Club Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 2003)

San Miguel International Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 2004)

₴ National Trophies ₴[edit]

National Football League (re-christened as I League from 2007) ---> 3

(Champions: 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04)

Federation Cup ---> 8

(Champions: 1978, 1980, 1985, 1996, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)

Super Cup ---> 3

(Champions: 1997, 2006, 2011)

Calcutta Football League (First, Super & Premier Division) ---> 37(Record)

(Champions: 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)

IFA Shield ---> 28

(Champions: 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)

Durand Cup ---> 16

(Champions: 1951, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1978, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2002, 2004)

Rovers Cup ---> 10

(Champions: 1949, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1994)

DCM Trophy ---> 7

(Champions: 1950, 1952, 1957, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1983)

All Airlines Gold Cup ---> 7

(Champions: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001)

Bordoloi Trophy ---> 4

(Champions: 1968, 1972, 1978, 1992)

McDowell's Cup ---> 3

(Champions: 1995, 1997 & 2000)

Sait Nagjee Trophy ---> 2

(Champions: 1968, 1986)

Hercules Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 1920)

Stafford Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 1986)

Coca Cola Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 1996)

Independence Day Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 2002)

Mohammedan SC Platinum Jubilee Cup ---> 1

(Champions: 2010)


  1. ^ 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. 
  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 i j "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 e "CONTINUING THE LEGACY". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  6. ^ http://footballdatabase.com/ranking/world/11
  7. ^ http://footballdatabase.com/ranking/asia/1
  8. ^ http://footballdatabase.com/ranking/india/1
  9. ^ 1930s: The Dark Decade
  10. ^ "THE RISE OF EAST BENGAL CLUB". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "SALT LAKE STADIUM". East Bengal Football Club. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Senior Team". 
  13. ^ http://eastbengalfootballclub.com/trophy.php

External links[edit]