Tag Archives: East Bengal

East Bengal pinning hopes on Khalid Jamil

East Bengal, Football, Khalid Jamil, I-league, Soccer, Kolkata, Indianfootball

After a great season with the Mizoram side Aizawl FC, Khalid Jamil will descend the north-eastern hills to take over the Kolkata side East Bengal. Khalid performed magic with Aizawl FC by guiding them to the summit of the I-league, whereas East Bengal had a season to forget as their challenge under Aussie coach Trevor Morgan petered out in the final phase of the league.

Khalid Jamil will be eager to prove himself by managing a Kolkata club and ascertain that his incredible run with Aizawl FC was not just a flash in the pan. According to reports, Khalid has signed a deal worth 1.25 crores for two years, which will make him the highest earning Indian coach ever.

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the upcoming football season, but East Bengal has been very quick in snapping up players and the head coach. A positive sign, as the club, seems to be taking the CFL campaign that will start in August quite seriously. A good performance in the CFL could be a good platform to build upon for the other bigger challenges that are awaiting the team in the next season.

East Bengal roping in the I-league winning coach shows a positive intent from the club, and this also offers some relief for their fans and the supporters of other I-league clubs as well. With news of clubs pulling out and shutting down flying thick and fast, this move by East Bengal might just force some other clubs to rethink their options and might want to test the waters for some more years.

After a lot of drama, East Bengal missed out on their chance to play in the Indian Super League due to differences on certain terms they had to agree to join the league. And with AIFF scheming to hold both the leagues (ISL & I-league) in parallel, there are concerns that I-league clubs will not be able to retain the best players as they will struggle to compete with financially sound ISL franchises. However, Khalid Jamil remained entirely oblivious to these changes as he quipped “Football will remain the same, be it ISL or I-League,” during the unveiling.

East Bengal has not had the best of its time in the top tier of Indian football ever since National Football League was re-branded to I-league in 2007. With a set of an explosive fan base and an equally crazy management to deal with, it would be interesting to see how Khalid Jamil’s foray into Kolkata Football would unfold.

Perhaps, Khalid is the answer for that ever evading I-league trophy!

I-league 2017 – Fixtures and broadcast details

ileague, indianfootball, soccer, league, Aizawl FC, Bengaluru FC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab FC, DSK Shivajians, Lajong FCI-league 2017 will kickoff on January 7. Here is the fixture list for the first nine rounds and the broadcast details. Ten teams from nine cities will participate in the league this season.

Match
No
Date Time Home   Away Round TV
1 7-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC LAJ 1 Ten 2
2 7-Jan-17 4.30 PM KEB AFC 1 Ten 2
3 8-Jan-17 MUM DSK 1
4 8-Jan-17 7.00 PM MB CB 1 Ten 2
5 8-Jan-17 4.30 PM CCFC MPFC 1 Ten 2
6 13-Jan- 17 1.30 PM AFC MPFC 2 Ten 2
7 13-Jan- 17 7.00 PM MB LAJ 2 Ten 2
8 14-Jan- 17 DSK KEB 2
9 14-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC CCFC 2 Ten 2
10 15-Jan- 17 4.30 PM CB MUM 2
11 17-Jan- 17 1.30 PM AFC LAJ 3 Ten 2
12 17-Jan- 17 4.30 PM MB MPFC 3 Ten 2
13 17-Jan- 17 7.00 PM DSK CCFC 3 Ten 2
14 18-Jan- 17 7.00 PM BFC MUM 3 Ten 2
15 18-Jan- 17 4.30 PM CB KEB 3 Ten 2
16 21-Jan- 17 LAJ MPFC 4
17 21-Jan- 17 7.00 PM CCFC MB 4 Ten 2
18 21-Jan- 17 4.30 PM DSK CB 4 Ten 2
19 22-Jan- 17 MUM AFC 4
20 22-Jan- 17 KEB BFC 4
21 24-Jan- 17 DSK MB 5
22 27-Jan- 17 CB BFC 5
23 28-Jan- 17 CCFC AFC 5
24 28-Jan- 17 LAJ MUM 5
25 29-Jan- 17 MPFC KEB 5
AFC CUP 31-Jan- 17 COL MB PS
ACL 31-Jan- 17 AL WEHDAT BFC PS
26 1-Feb-17 AFC DSK 6
27 31-Jan-17 LAJ CCFC 6
28 MB BFC 6
29 1-Feb-17 KEB MUM 6
30 1-Feb-17 MPFC CB 6
31 4-Feb-17 MB AFC 7
32 5-Feb-17 DSK BFC 7
33 5-Feb- 17 KEB CCFC 7
34 5-Feb- 17 LAJ CB 7
35 4-Feb- 17 MPFC MUM 7
AFC CUP 7-Feb- 17 MOHUN BAGAN COL
36 10-Feb- 17 AFC CB 8
37 11-Feb- 17 CCFC MUM 8
38 11-Feb- 17 LAJ DSK 8
39 11-Feb- 17 BFC MPFC 8
40 12-Feb- 17 KEB MB 8
41 14-Feb- 17 CCFC CB 9
42 15-Feb- 17 AFC BFC 9
43 15-Feb- 17 MUM MB 9
44 15-Feb- 17 KEB LAJ 9
45 15-Feb- 17 MPFC DSK 9

Legend : BFC : Bengaluru FC, MPFC : Minerva Punjab FC, DSK : DSK Shivajians, KEB : Kingfisher East Bengal, MUM : Mumbai FC, LAJ : Shillong Lajong, AFC : Aizawl FC, CCFC : Chennai City FC, CB : Churchill Brothers, MB : Mohun Bagan

Why the revamped AFC Cup format is a raw deal for India

AFC Cup, 2017, India, South Asia, West Zone, ASEAN Zone, Bengaluru FC, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, New Format

 

Guru Prasad, a football enthusiast from Bengaluru takes a closer look at the new format of AFC Cup.

 

You can follow him on twitter here.

When AFC came out with a new format for the AFC Cup, there were some reports in the media about how the revamped format will be beneficial for Indian clubs participating in the continental championship. However, a closer look at the revamped format reveals that instead of it being beneficial for our clubs, it could turn out to be detrimental for them and in turn it could also take a hit on the member association (MA rankings) for India. MA rankings are used by AFC to determine the number of slots a country gets in the continental championships, the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions league.

First let us take a look at the new format. Starting from 2017,  instead of the two zones, clubs are going to be divided into five zones –  West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and ASEAN. A total of 36 clubs will be competing from these zones. Each zones are allocated teams through direct slots and through play offs.  Slot allocation for the five zones are as follows:

West Asia Zone : 9 direct/3 from play-offs = 12 teams (Three groups)

ASEAN Zone : 9 direct/3 from play-offs = 12 teams (Three groups)

Central Asia Zone : 3 direct/1 from play-offs = 4 teams (One group)

East Asia Zone : 3 direct/1 from play-offs = 4 teams (One group)

South Asia Zone : 3 direct/1 from play-offs = 4 teams (One group)

As you can see all South Asian teams comes under one group. That means, Bengaluru FC (should they drop-down to AFC Cup without reaching the group stages of AFC Champions League), will be joined by Maziya from Maldives and Abhani Limited of Bangladesh. The fourth spot in the group will be taken by the winners of the play-off round in South Asia.

This is how the play off round for the south Asia looks like :AFC Cup, 2017, AFC, South Asia, Mohun Bagan, Thimpu FC, Bhutan, Football, Asia, Colombo FC, Sri Lanka,

Federation Cup winners Mohun Bagan will have to play two matches against South Asian teams to even reach the group stage of the competition (No MA points are accrued for prelims and Play-off matches). Now, compare this with the AFC Cup format of 2016, where both teams from India – Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC were placed in two different groups (Group G & H)and had a chance to go further in the competition. Whereas in 2017 they will be fighting with each other in the same group, if Bagan qualify for the group stages. And only one team, that is either Bengaluru FC or Mohun Bagan will be progressing to the further stages of the competition.

Now take a look at the West Asian Zone, they have 3 groups in the zone and the teams are dispersed in these groups. For example, Air Force Club of Iraq who were the 2016 AFC Cup champions after defeating  Bengaluru FC is placed in Group B of West Zone and Al Zawraa another club from Iraq is placed in Group A, offering the two teams a chance to progress further in the tournament. ASEAN zone is another one with an unfair advantage over others. ASEAN zone has 3 groups and teams from these countries are dispersed among these groups. AFC cup 2016 semi finalists Johor Darul Ta’zim is in Group F of the competition, whereas another Malaysian team Felda United is placed in Group G. The only thing good coming out of this format revamp is that there will be representation from more countries in AFC Cup and probably lesser miles traveled by teams to play the away matches.

The MA ranking conundrum

With the new  format in place, the MA rankings of India could take hit too. Lets us take a look.

if 2 or more teams participate from the same MA, then their points get averaged out and if one team is good but others are not good, then the points gained by MA is not good (e.g. For Malaysia, last year where JDT reached semifinal, but other team crashed out of group stage taking their points gained only to 7.167), this is a shortcoming in AFC’s points calculation mechanism. And it gives advantage to the MA from where only one team is participating and if the participating team performs well in the competition, then MA points gained will be very good. Where as for MAs with more teams, this method proves to be disadvantageous. Because, if MAs with one or more teams participating, then all the teams must perform very well to gain more points, like the case with India last year).

But this year’s format of AFC Cup has aggravated the situation for top MAs in south, central and East zone (with India and Tajikistan being the biggest losers), as one team from one MA will not advance out of group stage, hence points gained will be low for an MA with 2 teams. In addition, AFC cup points only account for 1/3rd that of ACL games. This means India is the biggest loser in this case (If BFC doesn’t go to the group stage of ACL and perform well there) there will be no chance for India to break in to the Top 6 MAs in the region before 2017 November whose rankings will be counted for slot allocations of 2019 and 2020. So, AFC is trying to preserve status quo in ACL slot allocations and West and ASEAN zone in AFC cup and prevent new MAs being represented in ACL. Although not apparent unless you read between the lines and dig deeper on the new format. As per the new format, as a country it is advantageous for us only if one club makes it to the group stage of the tournament. If two of them make it to the group stage, it would be detrimental for our MA rankings. A real catch-22 situation for us!

Also noticeable is that ASEAN and West Asian teams that qualify for further stages play 4 and 2 more games respectively than the rest, if the points accrued in these extra matches also count (zonal Semifinals and zonal finals) then all the other zones are at a serious disadvantage.

This is where it gets utterly tricky for India, if Bengaluru FC doesn’t qualify for ACL and at least doesn’t get till Quarterfinals (pray to god for some miracle!!), then the next window of opportunity for substantial increase in MA rankings and better slot allocation comes only in 2020 whose ranking will probably be counted for 2021 allocations and there is a plan to count only club performance for that, at the moment we can’t say for sure if that it will be beneficial to India as there are countries where National team is below par, but clubs do extremely well.

Status Quoist AFC?

Its looks like AFC isn’t an exception in trying to maintain status quo, there are many world sporting bodies like UEFA (who are trying to change UCL structure to give unusual preference to top MAs), ICC (The Big three control the revenue and administration preventing smaller cricketing nations a greater share of revenue and associate nations with remote chance of playing test matches)etc, and Indian football in tatters due to ongoing restructuring and shutting shops of old clubs also doesn’t help. And AFC being status quoist that it is, Clubs can’t expect too much help from them in the current crisis.

On the whole, the revamped format of the AFC Cup along with the current method of MA ranking calculation, it is quite obvious that India has got a raw deal with the recent format revamp of the AFC Cup. Despite all the challenges our clubs have been facing on the domestic front, performances on the continental level in the AFC Cup has been quite decent from our clubs. This revamp of the competition format is going to cripple our progress in terms of MA rankings and our quest for a direct slot in the AFC champions League. Although Some may say It is too soon to dream about direct slot in ACL, we never know until we are tested rigorously and only then do we have a chance to Improve ourselves.

Calcutta Football League – Officer’s Choice Blue to be the title sponsor

Calcutta Football League, Indian Football Association, Kolkata, Football, India, Mohammedan Sporting, Derby, 2015, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Allied Blenders and Distillers, Star Jalsha, Jalsha Movies, Bengal, Football, SoccerIn a media meet held today, Indian Football Association (WB) [ IFA] announced their agreement with Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt Ltd. (ABD) under which, Officer‟s Choice Blue will be the Title Sponsor for the forthcoming Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A for the next 4 years.
Earlier, ABD had also supported various events of IFA , which included District League and IFA Shield.

Through such Title Sponsorship, ABD is confident of increasing visibility of the brand substantially.
In the media meet, IFA also circulated the complete fixture of „ Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A 2015 – 2016, which is the top most division of Calcutta Football League, which started in 1898 and is the oldest and biggest league in Asia and one of the oldest league in the world having nearly 8,500 registered players in Calcutta Football League.

This season a total of 11 teams , who last year participated in the Championship round of Calcutta Football League Premier Division, will be playing in the Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A. The participating teams are :-

  • Army XI Club
  • Aryan Club
  • B N R Recreation Club
  • East Bengal Club
  • Kalighat M S
  • Md. Sporting Club
  • Mohun Bagan A C
  • Police A C
  • Sports Authority of India
  • Southern Samity
  • Tollygunge Agragami

4 teams finishing at the bottom of the league table of Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A will exchange their position in 2016 – 2017 with the 4 teams finishing at the top of Calcutta Football League Premier Division 2015 – 2016.

These 11 teams, which includes 2 I- League playing teams from Bengal i.e, Kingfisher East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will be vying for the coveted top slot of Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A 2015 – 2016 where the Champion will get Rs. 25 lacs and the Runners Up will get Rs. 20 lac as Prize Money. Apart from the Prize Money for Champions and Runners Up, there are also financial awards for teams finishing at 3 to 7 based on their ranking in the tournament.

The matches of Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A will be primarily played in the following grounds :-

 

  • East Bengal / Aryan Ground
  • Mohun Bagan / CFC Ground
  • Mohammedan Sporting / Howrah Union Ground
  • Vidyasagar Krirangan (Barasat Stadium)
  • Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Utpal Kumar Ganguli, Hony. Secretary of IFA , who is also the Vice Chairman of ABD said “ IFA welcomes their association with Officer’s Choice Blue as the Title Sponsor of Officer’s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A and sincerely thank ABD for extending their support to Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A in particular and football in Bengal, in general. The association between IFA and ABD will help improving the standard and quality of Officer’s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A and we hope, it will increase the league’s excitement in the days to come”.

Mr. Ganguli further expressed his appreciation for the support extended by Star Group , who are the Television Sponsor for Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A and have decided to telecast live this year‟s 33 matches out of 55 matches of Officer‟s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division – A.

In a message sent from Mumbai, Mr. Bikram Basu, Chief Operating Officer, Sales & Marketing of Allied Blenders & Distillers said, “Football is sure to regain its eminence and trend as a major sport. The Calcutta Football League is one of India’s premier tournaments, and Officer’s Choice Blue takes pride in firming a long term association with IFA. With this Officers Choice Blue scores a beauty in it’s bond with the City of Joy.”

 

Official spokesperson of Star said, “We have witnessed the birth of a footballing nation post the inaugural season of the Hero Indian Super League. As the leading broadcaster in the state, our association with IFA is a strategic step towards strengthening relationship with football loving audience in Bengal. We would like to elevate the viewers’ experience to a new level by showcasing intimate details and capturing raw emotions on the field through use of technology. We are happy to partner with IFA for the telecast of Officer’s Choice Blue Calcutta Football League Premier Division– A”

Star Group also highlighted for enhancing the broadcast quality and viewers experience, they will be taking various steps , which includes :-

  • Tight Scheduling – giving the league a tournament like character
    • All derby games scheduled on Sundays
    • Matches to be telecast everyday at same time . Kickoff @ 3.30 pm
    • League to be held at one go- no breaks in between
  • Production scale up
    • Use of Super Slow Motion and Reverse angle camera.
    • 10 camera replay to be used in broadcast
    • Stylish Pre Mid Post match analysis with female anchors/ host and noted ex footballers as experts
    • 2 commentators and 1 football expert to work in tandem in the commentary box.
    • Quality In match graphics at par with International football telecast
  • Promotion – high decibel promotion on
    • Major broadcast vehicles – Star Jalsha and Jalsha Movies
    • Digital platforms and OOH sites

Official – Bengaluru FC recruit striking duo

By Sunil A Markal

I-League runners-up Bengaluru FC have confirmed the signings of attacking duo Kim Seng-Yong and SeiminlenDoungel from Royal Wahingdoh FC and ShillongLajong respectively.

A statement on the Blues’ official website read

Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, announced the signings of strikers Kim Seng-Yong and Seiminlen Doungel as the Blues are looking to build on what’s been a successful second season where they finished winners of the Federation Cup, runners-up in the I-League and made the last-16 of the AFC Cup.

The Federation Cup winners were on the look for a new striker, after Australian striker Sean Rooney’s contract with the Blues expired at the end of the current campaign.

And the champions of last year have signed an experienced campaigner in North Korean Kim to replace the departing Australian. The former Rangdajied United man is a prolific goalscorer, and found the back of the net five teams to propel his side to an impressive 3rd placed finish. The 28-year-old has penned a one-year-deal, with Bengaluru having the choice to extend it for another year.

Talking to the official website, Kim said, “I am extremely happy to have signed for Bengaluru FC. I consider myself lucky to have been given a chance to play for a club like this. They have done an amazing job on and off the pitch over the past two years. I am looking forward to playing under the guidance of Ashley Westwood and the rest of the staff, and I will do my best to contribute towards the team’s success on all fronts.”

Bengaluru’s second addition comes in the form of 21-year-old Shillong forward Seiminlen Doungel. The Manipur born JCT youth product was excited on signing for the Blues, and will present with more options for manager Ashley Westwood upfront.

“It makes me happy to say that I am part of Bengaluru FC. It’s a club where I know I will improve as a player and I cannot wait to be a part of wonderful things the club does,”the former East Bengal man said.

Club COO Mustafa Ghouse meanwhile said of the players that the duo were on the club’s radar for a while, and they are happy to have finally landed their targets.

“Kim and Len are both very talented players and have been on our radar for some time now. We are certain the fans will be happy to see them in the BFC blue next season, just as we are. We would also like to thank Sean Rooney whose contribution to the club in our first two seasons has been immense and we wish him all the best for his future endeavors”

Leave your thoughts in the comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter: @sunilmarkal17

 

East Bengal unveils team and launch a deodorant!

I-league club East Bengal launched their football team in a glittering ceremony at South City Mall in Kolkata. The ceremony saw the East Bengal team for next season being unveiled. 

East Bengal, Football, Kolkata, South City Mall, Launch, Apart from launching the team, East Bengal also took a big step towards club merchandizing by launching a brand of deodorant named the “East Bengal Deo”

East Bengal, Football, Kolkata, South City Mall, Launch, Indianfootball, i-league

 

The Goal that Sealed the Kolkata Derby

Check out the screaming goal that sealed the Kolkata Derby. Lalrindika Ralte recieves the ball, sets it up and launches a sweet strike that dips in to the net. It was sheer brilliance.

AFC Cup : Kuwait SC defeats East Bengal 4-2 – Away goals provide a glimmer of hope

Kf_east_bengal_logoKuwait SC defeated East Bengal 4-2 in the first leg of AFC Cup semfinal that took place in Kuwait.

The match started off slowly and East Bengal had the first shot on goal when Chidi’s tame shot was stopped by the Kuwait SC goal keeper. Then on Kuwait SC dominated the proceedings all through the 1st half of the match. They opened scoring in the 17th minute through Issam Jemaa, he went to add another one in the 33rd minute and Waleed Ali made it 3-0 before the half-time whistle.

When play resumed after the break, thanks to East Bengal custodian Gurpreet’s silly mistake Kuwait SC increased their tally to four through Chadi Hammami’s simple tap in.  At that stage it looked like Kuwait SC is heading to a massive victory.

However East Bengal managed to turn around the match partially by scoring two crucial away goals after their Brazilian coach Marcos Falopa brought in two substitutions.  One among the substitutes Lalrindika Ralte swung in a very good corner kick which was headed in by Uga Okpara in the 66th minute. In the 87th minute Lalrindika Ralte himself got on the score sheet with a superbly taken goal.

While Kuwait SC home stadium was almost barren with only a handful of supporter cheering them, they will come across a different proposition when they visit Kolkota in the second leg of the semi-final on October 22nd. With good home support and if East Bengal can replicate their second half performance in Kuwait they stand a slender chance to overturn this tie.

Team line-up and stats here.

Watch all the goals from the match here. Due credits to the folks at Indian Football home.

East Bengal complain to AFC against Kuwait SC

Kf_east_bengal_logoEast Bengal has registered a formal complaint to AFC against Kuwait SC over the shabby treatment meted out to the Indian team so far.

First there was the visa issue where 3 players and 4 officials did not receive visas on time. This left captain Mehtab Hossain, defender Arnan Mondal and Gurwinder Singh in lurch and they could only travel to Kuwait late last night.

East Bengal is also unhappy about the accommodation as they accused not enough drinking water was available in the players’ rooms. East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumdar accused that Kuwait SC is playing games to unsettle East Bengal.

Read more : Fuming East Bengal complain to AFC against Kuwait SC

Joaquim Abranches to become the only Indian player to have played two AFC Cup Semi finals

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Joaquim Abranches will earn the distinction of being the only Indian player to have played two AFC Cup Semi finals,  as East Bengal appears in this year’s AFC Cup semi final.

Abrnaches appeared in the semi final of AFC Cup earlier with Dempo in 2008.

Here is a nice article on how Armando Colaco who discovered Joaquim Abrnaches is excited about his protege : Colaco smiles in Abranches’ moment of glory

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