Tag Archives: League

Who will Qualify as a Marquee Player in I-league?

With AIFF set to introduce the “Marquee player” policy in the next season’s I-League, here is a graphic by us which explains what kind of players will qualify as a Marquee player.

I-league, Marquee Player, Football, League, India, Indianfootball, Soccer, World Cup, AFC, ACN, African Nations CupHere is AIFF’s definition of Marquee Player – Marquee Player Defined.


I-League Bangalored!

Even though the term Bangalored has a negative connotation to it, when you see what unfolded in the 2013-2014 I-league season, it is pretty much obvious that Bengaluru FC Bangalored the I-league title. Since its inception in 2007, I-league has been synonymous to the victory of Goan clubs. In 2013-14 season, Bengaluru FC smoothly captured the reigns and brought the title home!

Bengaluru FC, I-league, Indianfootball, Bangalore, Football, SoccerWhen Bengaluru FC backed by JSW was announced in July 2013, two tasks were in front of them. Of course building competitive team would have been the first priority, but the second wouldn’t have been that easy. Bangalore is a football loving city, when local clubs like ITI and HAL play, a good number of crowd is present in the stadium cheering these teams. The  challenge in front of the newly formed Bengaluru FC would have been to appease the traditional football crowd and attract a new gamut of crowd who are mainly followers of European football. With 23 matches into the league and the title in pocket, it is obvious that Bengaluru FC managed this fete with aplomb. With promotions, smart tie-ups and social media presence, the club managed an average attendance of 7500 in every home match.

The team, captained by national captain Sunil Chhetri also lived up to the expectations. When the club was formed in July, there were not many players to choose from as other clubs had already snapped up players. However, shrewd recruitment and excellent coaching from Ashley Westwood saw many players who were earlier bench-warming with other clubs rise to the occasion.  Players like Beikhokhei Beingaichho, Darren Caldeira and Thoi Singh are prime examples. While all other I-league clubs hired and fired overseas players all through the season, Bengaluru FC’s foreign contingent has been top performers for the team.

With high attendance on even week-days, Bengaluru FC with their vociferous supporters madeBengaluru FC, Crowd, Indianfootball, Soccer, I-league, Football, JSW, Jindal, Steelmen the home turf an impregnable fortress.  Of the twelve home matches, they lost a match, drew four and won all others. Though there were frailties in away matches, the team managed to rope in victories while traveling too. With winning the I-league title, AFC Champions League matches will be on cards for Bangalore.

Bengaluru FC has been a fresh whiff of air in the otherwise morose footballing scene in India. It is almost like after the team was formed they never put a foot wrong. Let us hope Bengaluru FC’s success is emulated by other I-league clubs by reinventing themselves.

Bengaluru FC’s Long road to I-league 2013-14 title

Bengaluru FC, Indianfootball, I-league, Football, Soccer, league, Bangalore, Matches, JSW, Jindal, Steel, Sunil Chhetri, Ashley Westwood, Pradhyum Reddy

Kerala Premier League to kick-off on March 15th

Kerala, Premier, League, KPL, Football, Soccer, AGs Office, Excise, Police, Customs, Eagles FC, india, Indianfootball,Media reports suggest that the first edition of Kerala Premier League will kick-off on March 15th. Twelve teams from the state will take part in the tournament that will be conducted in two stages. Kottayam and Malappuram will host these stages.

AG’s office, KSEB, Kerala Police, Eagles FC and Cochin Port trust will compete in the kottayam stage  and Titanium, SBT, Central Excise and Goldent Threads in the Manjeri stage.

The report also mentions that the winners of state inter-district U-21 Football Tournament will be given a direct entry into KPL. Top two slots from another qualifying round of matches starting on March 10th will complete the line-up of KPL.

Kolkata’s United SC Seeking Investment from Kerala

United SC, Kolkata, Football, India, IMG - Reliance, Indian Super League, ISL, Players LoanCash strapped United SC is planning to divest shares and is looking for potential suitors from Kerala, reports Malayalam media.

United SC official Nabab Bhattacharya is quoted in Malayala Manorama  saying that maintaining a foreign coach and foreign players for the last six months without any sponsors has hurt the club massively and hence they are planning to divest shares. Nabab also said that even though there are many footballers in Kerala with some playing in I-league, the state do not have a club representation in the national league. This is also a factor in seeking avenues from Kerala.

C.K Vineeth who is currently on loan to Bengaluru FC and K. Asif were the Malayali players in United SC. Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie quit the club earlier due to financial constraints and reports have surfaced today that their star Nigerian striker Ranti Martins will be moving to the Shillong outfit Rangdajied United on loan.

The move to seek investors from Kerala could be a last ditch effort to save the sinking club. We will have to wait and watch if any investors from kerala would come and rescue this reasonably successful and established club from Kolkata. If that happens would the club move to Kerala lock, stock and barrel? We will soon find answers.

West Bromwich Albion Looking for Indian Sponsors

English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion are in talks with some leading Indian companies after their current sponsor decided to pull the plug in the wake of striker Nicolas Anelka’s controversial racism-linked goal celebration in an EPL match.

Albion, a mid-table EPL side, will have to find a new sponsor after London-based property company ‘Zoopla’ decided not to renew their two-year USD 3 million sponsorship deal which runs till the end of current season over Anelka’s ‘quenelle’ gesture which some say is an inverted Nazi salute and has anti-Semitic connotations.     West Bromwich Albion, EPL, India, Premier League, U.K, Britain, Football, Soccer, League, Indianfootball, Sponsor

Albion Sales and Marketing Director Adrian Wright said at the sidelines of an event here that he would meet some top corporates in the country for a possible deal for the main sponsor of the club.

“We are going to meet some top corporate houses in India which have shown interest in becoming a sponsor. It’s in a preliminary stage but if an Indian company becomes our sponsor it would be a great development for us. We are going to meet them before we fly out in Saturday,” Wright said.

“If it happens the name of an Indian company will be seen for the first time on the jersey of an EPL club during Premier League matches,” he said after the launch of its ‘Pass It Forward’ grassroot international coaching programme in India.

It is learnt that the corporates Albion are going to meet include Airtel, Reliance, Tata and JCB and the meetings have been arranged through the FICCI and CII.

A meeting with Reliance company assumes significance as Albion are reportedly interested in buying a franchisee of Indian Super League proposed to be organised by IMG-Reliance in September.

West Bromwich may be interested in having an Indian company as main sponsor as it has a large Asian population in its surroundings. West Bromwich town is located just a few kilometres from Birmingham, which is Britain’s one of the most Asian populated cities.

Wright even went to the extent of saying that the first team of West Bromwich Albion may plan to play exhibition matches in India in the coming years.

  “I am surprised that such a beautiful stadium (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium) has not been used much for football matches. I know Bayern Munich played here (in Bhaichung Bhuitia’s farewell match in 2012) but the current pitch is not good for top-class football. I am told a new pitch will be laid. If that is done, our first team may play here in near future,” Wright said.

Under its ‘Pass It Forward’ programme, Albion would send FA (Football Association of England) qualified coaches to train Indian youngsters from all walks of life, including from the deprived sections of society. The club also plans to hold a Youth Football League and Street Football Leagues in India.

Albion have joined forces with Youth Football International, a coaching organisation based here.

“‘Pass it Forward’ coaching sessions will be held at schools and in some of New Delhi’s most deprived areas during the week-long trip. Under the programme, we will send coaches to India to train youngsters six times a year,” Wright said.

“It is a long-term programme for five-six years initially. In each trip, the coaching programme will be conducted from seven to 10 days. We will come back in March and then may be in August or September. We will not come in peak summer months,” he said.

“We don’t have any international coaching programme in other countries. This is the only one we have outside UK. We want to have a long-term relationship with Indian football.”

Gareth Conte of the YFI said promising players from among the selected Indian youngsters will be trained at the academy in West Bromwich Albion.

“Our coaching approach will be different. Around 30 per cent of youngsters will be from among deprived sections of society. We want to bring changes in their lives through football. The best among the youngsters will be trained in our academy. Who knows some of them may play for India in 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup which India is hosting,” Conte said.

He said the club also plans to spread out in other Indian cities later on.

“As of now, our focus is in New Delhi. But we are hoping that in the next five-six years, we want to spread out in around 50 Indian towns and cities. We want to help in raising the profile of Indian football,” he said.

Source : PTI

The Ultimate Gif : Sunil Chhetri’s Goal against Mohammedan Sporting

Here is an ultra cool gif of a Sunil Chhetri goal. This goal against Mohammedan Sporting has to be one of the best goals scored in this I-league Season.

Captain Fantastic!


IMG in IMG – Reliance Sold Off

IMG, IMG-Reliance, Football, India, Soccer, InternationalInternational Management Group (IMG)  the global sports, entertainment and fashion agency has sold off to competitors William Morris Endeavor (WME) and their financial backer Silver Lake Partners.William-Morris-Endeavor



IMG – Reliance the Indian version of the management agency caused a stir among the Indian football fans with the now postponed Indian Super League. We will have to wait and see what beholds the Indian Super League now.

Bengaluru FC fined for Crowd Trouble

Bengaluru FC, Gate, India, Football, Indianfootball, soccer, I-league,

An I-league panel after evaluating the Referees’ and Match Commissioner’s reports has decided to fine Bengaluru FC INR 20000.

Reports say that a repetition of crowd trouble in the upcoming matches means doubling the fine amount.

East Bengal goal keeper Gurpreet Sandhu was showered with bottles and other items during Bengaluru FC’s last home match.

N.P Pradeep Joins Mumbai FC

 N.P Pradeep, Football, I-league, Mumbai FC, Idukki, Mahindra, Mohun Bagan, Mumbai Tigers, IndianFootball, Socceer, LeagueFormer India and International and Kerala player N.P Pradeep has joined Mumbai FC on loan. By this Mumbai FC becomes the third team in I-League to sign players attached to IMG – Reliance League.

Pradeep comes with loads of experience in Indian Football circuit. From 2000 onwards, Pradeep has appeared for various clubs such as Mahindra, Viva Kerala, Mohun Bagan and lately signed for Dodsal FC which was later renamed to Mumbai Tigers.

Pradeep also has 50 international caps for India and featured heavily in the national team during Bob Houghton era. With Mumbai Tigers pulling out from I-league, Pradeep had inked deal with IMG- Reliance for their upcoming IPL Style league.

With IMG – Reliance League getting postponed, Mumbai FC has taken the plunge to sign the midfielder that will add a lot of experience to their current I-league squad. So far, Rangdajied United, Mohammedan Sporting and Mumbai FC has signed players contracted with IMG – Reliance.

IMG – Reliance Cuts Deal with Star India

IMG - Reliance, IPL, Football, Delhi, Stadium, League

Image Courtesy : http://www.sportzpower.com/

According to a report in TOI, it is understood that IMG – Reliance has struck a deal with Star India to become equity partners in a JV to run their proposed IPL-Style football league.

After this development, Star India will hold 30%  stake in the joint venture IMG – Reliance. According to the report, IMG – Reliance and Star India will disperse 100% broadcast  revenue to franchise owners in the first season.

Elsewhere in TOI, it is also reported that football stars such as Yorke, Ljungberg, Pires, Crespo and Saha has been signed by IMG – R for their upcoming league. Thierry Henry and Michael Owen could also join the fray. Peter Schmeichel, the legendary Danish and Manchester United goal keeper and Marcel Marcel Desailly former Chelsea and France legend has been roped in the role of coaches.

IMG – R Chair Person Nita Ambani confirmed to TOI :  “Having Star on board as a partner strengthens our efforts and commitment to propel Indian football to its rightful place. We see the launch of the football league as the realization of a dream of a billion-plus Indians to experience the most cherished game globally in new ways,”

It is also understood that some I-league clubs will all bid for franchises during the auctions. Pune FC-Piramals, East Bengal, JSW, Dempo-Salgaocar are in the fray to pick up franchises. Apart from that a host of corporates, Celebrities and a consortium of businessmen from Kerala are in the fray for team in the proposed league.

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