Tag Archives: Soccer

Look back : India’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers from 1998 to 2014

World Cup Qualifiers, FIFA, India, World Cup, Soccer, Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, I.M Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, 2014, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010With India’s 2018 World Cup qualification hopes in shambles after the 3-0 loss to Oman on Tuesday, we decided to check and compile India’s performances in world cup qualifiers over the years starting from 1998. There are some interesting results and our best qualifying campaign was for the 2002 world cup. Sukhwinder Singh coached team that had stalwarts like Baichung Bhutia, I.M Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri managed some great results in that campaign. Here are the results from the World Cup qualifiers matches that we played from 1998 to 2014.

1998 World Cup :

34 Asian nations took part in the 1998 World Cup qualifiers. India was in Group 10 along with Qatar, Sri Lanka and Philippines.  We managed a win against Philippines, a draw with Sri Lanka and a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Qatar. Nothing to be proud of. Qatar progressed in to the next round as group winners.  Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea represented Asia in the 1998 World Cup that took place in France.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Qatar 3 0 0 0 14 0 14 9
2 Sri Lanka 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
3 India 3 1 1 1 3 7 -4 4
4 Philippines 3 0 0 3 0 10 -10 0

Matches :

21-Sep-96
India 2-0 Philippines
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar
24-Sep-96
 Sri Lanka  1-1 India
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar
27-Sep-96
Qatar 6-0 India
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar

2002 World Cup

40 Asian nations took part in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers. India was in Group 08  along with UAE, Yemen and Brunei. This has to be our best qualification campaign in recent past. We managed to defeat UAE at home, held Yemen for a draw and thumped Brunei for a whopping five goals to nil. Coached by Sukhwinder Singh, Indian team finished third in the group. Some positives from the campaign were the home win against Arab giant UAE and the 11 goals we managed score in the campaign. South Korea, Japan (Hosts), Saudi Arabia and China PR represented Asian in the 2002 World Cup.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  United Arab Emirates 6 4 0 2 21 5 16 12
2  Yemen 6 3 2 1 14 8 6 11
3 India 6 3 2 1 11 5 6 11
4  Brunei 6 0 0 6 0 28 -28 0

Matches :

8-Apr-01
India 1-0 UAE
 Alberto  71′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore

Attendance: 12,000

   15-Apr-01
 India  1-1  Yemen
 Bhutia  53′  Al Ghurbani  43′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore

Attendance: 21,000

26-Apr-01
UAE 1-0 India
Khater  63′

Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium,

Al Ain City

Attendance: 12,000

4-May-01
Yemen 3-3 India
Al-Salimi  13′ (p),  20′,  62′ Ancheri  16′,  38′

Vijayan  51′

Althawra Sports City Stadium, San‘a’

Attendance: 25,000

11-May-01
Brunei 0-1 India
Ancheri 75′
Sultan Hassal Bolkiah Stadium, Bandar Seri Begawan
Attendance: 4,000
20-May-01
India 5-0 Brunei
Alberto  12′
Vijayan  23′
Bhutia 35′ (p)
Ancheri  59′
Hakim 80′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore
Attendance: 7,000

2006 World Cup

In 2016 AFC introduced a preliminary round in the qualifications. 14 last ranked teams would fight it out in a preliminary round. However, India was not among the 14 last ranked nations and qualified directly to play in Round 2. India was in Group 3 along with Japan, Oman and Singapore. This campaign was nothing short of a disaster for India. This campaign ended Stephen Constantine’s first stint with India. We conceded 16 goals and could only score 2 in the  whole campaign. Stephen Constantine was sacked and Sukhwinder took on the reigns in 2005.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Japan 6 6 0 0 16 1 15 18
2 Oman 6 3 1 2 14 3 11 10
3 India 6 1 1 4 2 18 -16 4
4  Singapore 6 1 0 5 3 13 -10 3

Matches :

18-Feb-04
India 1-0 Singapore
 Alberto  71′
Fatorda Stadium, Margao

Attendance: 28,000

31-Mar-2004
 India  1-1  Oman
Renedy  18′ Amad Ali 12′

Ahmed Mubarak  26′, 49′

Al Hinai 60′, 88′

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi

Attendance: 48,000

9-Jun-04
Japan 7-0 India
Kubo 12′
Fukunishi 25′
Nakamura 29′
Suzuki 54′
Nakazawa 65′, 76′
Ogasawara 68′

Saitama Stadium, Saitama

Attendance:  63,000

8-Sep-04
India 0-4 Japan
Suzuki Goal 45′

Ono 60′
Fukunishi 71′
Miyamoto 87′

Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Bidhannagar

Attendance: 90,000

13-Oct-04
Singapore 2-0 India
 Sahdan Goal 73′
Mohd Goal 76
Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
Attendance: 3,609
17-Nov-04
Oman 0-0 India
Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat
Attendance: 2,000

2010 World Cup

In 2010 AFC introduced seeding for teams in the qualifiers. Seeding for the first two rounds was based each team’s performance during the qualification stage for the previous World Cup. Nations ranked 1-5 after seeding directly qualified for the third round of qualifiers, where as nations ranked 6–43 entered the first round, with teams ranked from 6–24 drawn against teams ranked from 25–43. Bob Houghton coached India was drawn against Lebanon in the first round match that was played in an home and away format. We suffered a 4-1 defeat in the away match at Lebanon but managed to hold them for a draw in Goa. Asutralia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea represented Asia in 2010 World Cup.

Matches :

08-oct-2007
Lebanon 4-1 India
Antar 33′
Ghaddar 62′, 76′
El Ali 63′
Chetri 30′
Saida International Stadium, Saida

Attendance: 500

30-Oct-2007
 India  1-1  Lebanon
Chhetri 29′
Dias 90+2′
Ghaddar 72′ (pen.), 85′
Fatorda Stadium, Goa

Attendance: 10,000

2014 World Cup

For the 2014 World Cup, AFC’s competitions committee decided to follow the same format of 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Teams ranked 1–5 directly qualified to the group stages of qualifiers. Those ranked 6-27 received a bye to the 2nd round of qualification and teams ranked 28-43 played the 1st round of qualification. We received a bye to play in the 2nd round of qualifiers and were pitted against UAE. Armando Colaco had taken over the reigns from Bob Houghton by the time we took on UAE in an away match on 23-July-2011, in we got defeated 3-0.

23-july-2011
UAE 3-0 India
Al Kamali 21′ (pen.)
Al Shehhi 29′ (pen.)
Al Hammadi Goal 81′
Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 3,179
28-july-2011
 India  2-2  UAE
Jeje 74′
Gouramangi 90+2′
Al Shehhi 40′
Al-Wehaibi 72′
Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
Attendance: 13,000

Our hopes to qualify for 2018 World Cup are over. Recently we lost 3-0 to Oman and that was our fifth consecutive defeat in this qualifying campaign. For the uninitiated, such bad results are not new for our football team. 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign has also been disrupted because of ISL coinciding with the qualifiers. Let us hope that our team manage to win some upcoming home matches. Mean while, hoping that you enjoyed this compilation of the results from the past.

Guwahati FC raring to go in the 2nd Division I-League

Guwahati FC, Football, Axom Sports, North East, Club, New, Proffesional, Soccer, Friendly, Anthem, Launch, Assam, 2nd division, I-league, Durga Boro, Subhash BhowmickNewly formed club appoints Subhash Bhowmick as Technical Director, will face Mohammedan Sporting in the first match

Guwahati, India:  Newly formed Guwahati FC is raring to go as they prepare for the 2nd Division I-League 2015-16. The club is aiming for promotion to the first tier of Indian football and is leaving no stone unturned in its quest. They have appointed legendary former Indian National player and Coach, Subhash Bhowmick as their Technical Director. Mr Bhowmick has previously managed top clubs such as East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, Salgaocar among others. He comes on board as a mentor and guide and the team will benefit greatly from his vast experience.

 

Durga Boro, Guwahati FC, Football, Axom Sports, North East, Club, New, Proffesional, Soccer, Friendly, Anthem, Launch, Assam, 2nd division, I-league, Durga Boro, Subhash BhowmickGuwahati FC has also recently successfully held trials for its first team, with some top talent being recruited from top division clubs in India. They have announced the signing of top Assamese attacker, Durga Boro, who will bring a lot of quality to the first team. They will be announcing many more exciting signings in the days to come.

The club will face Mohammedan Sporting in their first match of the 2nd Division I-League on 14th November in Kolkata. The other teams in the Eastern Conference are Neroca FC, Himalayan Gangtok SC and Fateh Hyderabad FC. Three teams will qualify from the Conference for the main Group.

 

The club has recently tied up with Delhi-based Anglian Management Group (AMG) and Brazil’s Clube Atlético Paranaense (CAP) to set up the first international football Academy in North-East India based out of Guwahati. The Academy plans to train a hundred elite youth footballers from various age groups each of the next three years as well as run numerous programmes throughout the year aimed at attracting many more youth to the sport.To kick off their youth programs, they will be competing in the U-18 and U-15 I-League 2015-16 which will start in November.

 

Guwahati FC, which was formed at the end of 2014, aims to establish itself by developing local talent in partnership with AMG and CAP. The club intends to leverage AMG’s international connections and experiences managing football clubs in India and in Europe as well as CAP’s globally-renowned youth football programmes.

“We are looking forward to a great campaign in the 2nd Division I-League and will definitely aim to qualify to the top tier. We will remain passionate and dedicated about the cause of building the sport of football in India from the bottom up, as evidenced by our setting up the Guwahati FC Youth Academy in partnership with Anglian Management Group and Clube Atlético Paranaense.” said Sanjive Narain Co-owner Guwahati FC.

Kerala Blasters – ISL Season II Preview

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India, kochi, Kerala

 

 

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Kerala Blasters had an amazing first season, they exceeded all expectations by reaching the finals of first season. Blighted with ownership issues KBFC remained low key during the ISL auction but picked up some good players in the player draft. They have roped in an experienced Coach in Peter Taylor who will replace David James who was the marquee player/ manger last season. Trevor Morgan, former East Bengal coach remains as the assistant coach.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former Westham Goal Keeper Stephen Bywater, who will replace David James as the foreign keeper this season. Experienced custodian Sandip Nandy and Mohun Bagan goal Keeper Shilton Paul are the other goal keepers in the squad. Bywater will be the first choice keeper, otherwise we will see Sandip Nandy replacing him in the lineup.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former New Castle defender Peter Ramage who is expected to play a crucial role this season. Former Spanish International and World Cup winner Carlos Marchena (Marquee Player), Sandesh Jhinghan and Marcus Williams are the other stand out players in defense.

 

 

In the middle of the park, Blasters have a variety of options. Portuguese player Joao Coimbra and former Barca trained Josu is expected to start in the middle. CK Vineeth with his blistering pace could earn spot on the left. The other options in midfield are Cavin Lobo, Shankar, Mehtab Hussian Ishfaq Ahmed, Pulga and Peter Carvalho.

 

 

The real struggle for Blasters last season was scoring goals. They managed to score only 11 goals last season and out of that 5 were scored by Iain Hume who has then moved on to reigning champions ATK. Management seems to have put in a lot of thought to avoid the goal drought by signing some good talent upfront. The forward line-up of Chris Dagnall, former Arsenal man Sanchez Watt, Antonio German, Mohammed Rafi and Manandeep Singh, is quite a formidable one.

 

 

Blasters conceded only 11 goals last season, the lowest among all the teams. They will be looking to improve upon this record this season. With a great home support, Blasters could again be the surprise package of this season.

Indian Super League Season II – Northeast United FC Team Preview

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

 

North East United takes on Kerala Blasters in their Indian Super League season II inaugural match. Here is a preview of the team from Aditya Shandilya.

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, IndiaNortheast United FC had a dismal outing in the inaugural season of ISL last year despite starting out well as they finished at the bottom of the table. Though it was hardly a reflection of the talent at their disposal. Their management now had put disappointment behind and rebuild the squad with some good acquisitions. The heart of the highlanders remains the northeastern players as all domestic players are from that region of country.

Starting from the goal post, in Lalthuammawia Ralte of I League runners up Bengaluru FC they notched up a jewel. Ralte appeared in each and every game of BFC this season and managed a lot of clean sheets. Gennaro Bracigliano has been handed a goalkeeping coach cum player role this season. His quality was obvious in ISL 1 with Chennaiyin FC and it provides north eastern club with added options along with their young Kerala born GK T P Rehenesh. They have the advantage of having two good Indian goalkeeper in Ralte and Rehenesh.
In defence they have retained Miguel Garcia and snatched Kerala Blasters FC most reliable defender in ISL 1 Cedric Hengbert. Garcia is the player of the season for Sporting club de Goa this time around and is credible center back. Hengbert and Garcia may come up as a strong defensive wall in, if  they click. Along with them will be Aibor Khongjee who was recently is called for national duty against Iran after his stellar show for Shillong Lajong in I-league. If Farias go for four center back then Robin Gurung , Raju Yumnum and Zohmingliana Ralte have to compete for the spot in opening 11. While Ralte is centre back who is good in the air on the other hand Robin and Yumnum are left back with Yumnum played 16 games for Pune FC last season.
In midfield they have their marquee signing Simao Sabrosa to rely upon and if he still match fit then he can team up with Bruno Arias who switched from Delhi Dynamos. But the pick of the auction for highlanders, Seityasen Singh will be the key  man in midfield if the team have to succeed. His performance in I league for Royal Wahingdoh make him the second best midfielder after Eugeneson Lyngdoh and team’s assistant manager Santosh kashyap will know what Seityasen exactly brings to the team. Sanju Pradhan, Boithang Haokip and Marlingki Suting provide options in the flank alongside Bengaluru FC’s Siam Hangal and Alen Deory. Midfield looks very versatile and experienced as well.
Coming to the forward line, the surprise grab by Northeast United is Nicolas Velez. The Argentine is in tremendous form for Warrior FC of S league by netting 21 goals in 26 appearances. If he can replicate the same showing in ISL then he will turn out to be the buy of the season. In Holicharan Narzary we have a very talented partner who is now pretty successful in the national scene as well. Boubacar Sanogo, their latest signing is also a goal machine, he may not be at his best but provides much needed experience in forward line while Ghana’s Francis Dadzie is also a young prolific striker in good form. This makes North East’s forward line a formidable one.
So now it is up to NEUFC to come out all guns blazing in Indian Super League.

Ratings :

 

Goalkeeper : 

8

 

 

They have picked good foreign and a best Indian goalkeeper and so there is less to worry on this front.

 

Defence : 6

They are short on options as far as foreign players are concerned. Injury to any of them will be a huge concern.

Midfield : 7

 

They will rely lot on their marquee player Simao Sabrosa and Seityasen Singh. These players have to perform for highlanders to succeed. Seityasen is key between their transition between defense and attack and as he has been in good form recently.

Forward : 7

 

They have the players who can score goals but lack of Indian players up front may cause problem in cramped tournament like this. Injury to Holicharan Narzary  is injured and this could disrupt their plans. His timely recovery is important for Cesar Farias’s team.

Coach:
As far as Cesar Farias is concerned, the ex Venezuela coach have a reputation of bringing less fancied squad to the top as coach of Venezuela junior and senior teams. His assistant Santosh Kashyap also made his name during his stint at Royal Wahingdoh during last I league season. Both

believes in strong midfield so they may go for 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 formation.

Formation & starting line-up : 4-4-2 or 3-4-3

 

Ralte, Garcia, Aibor, Raju, Hengbert, Simao, Bruno, Seityasen, Sanju Pradhan, Holicharan, Nicolas

 

Player to watch:

 

Nicolas velez. He is well acclaimed striker as of now and many Asian clubs will be keeping a keen eye on him. Easily makes him the most important player for Northeast United. Last time around highlanders struggled due to their lack of goals, mainly due to the failure of James Keene and Durga Boro. Hopefully Velez will step-up and make up for the paucity of goals for North East United.

Tactial Preview of Mumbai City FC – ISL Season II

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India
 

Anelka’s inexperience as a manager would be Mumbai City FC’s biggest weakness this season says Maulik Mehta. Here is an excellent tactical preview of Mumbai City FC from him. Read on.

Mumbai City Football Club the team with a lot to prove this season!! Restricted by injuries to key players in the inaugural season their campaign didn’t had a happy ending.The club’s hopes were dashed last season as they finished second from the bottom of the table in the eight-team competition. However, having assembled a squad of powerful, attacking players for the second season, the club looks a rejuvenated side aiming to finish their unfinished business.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, IndiaPersonally with the embarrassment of riches MCFC possess in attack they should employ a 4-1-3-2 formation or a 4-4-2 diamond primarily at home or against goal shy teams who come to sit back and defend. Norde & Moritz should cut inside allowing the fullbacks to net in crosses from wide and form a potent attacking threat. However, the presence of only one defensive midfielder in the form of Juan Aguilera will make them susceptible on the break. Also, non-tracking back by wingers could be an issue that could be looked upon by the opponents. Any alterations could include the involvement of L.Ralte on the wings or as an attacking midfielder that could allow Sunil Chhetri to form a terrifying partnership with the French superstar. Ashutosh Mehta & L.Mawia could be used in the right and left full back spots especially when the games come thick & fast. However any injury to Subrata Paul would disrupt their whole campaign since their backups Albino & Debjith are young & lack big match experience. It would be fascinating & interesting to see who replaces and how they cope when Subrata Paul isn’t around.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

A more holistic approach could be used during away matches where you need to make sure you don’t concede early and keep the match tight and counter attack the rivals. They can use a 4-4-1-1 formation without the ball and a 4-2-3-1 formation during ball possession which could keep them compact as well as maintain stability during attack as well as in defense. They could use piqiounne & subhash singh mainly in the second half to hold the ball up and run at the defenses which could eventually lead them to a goal or two.Also Gabriel Fernandes mainly a right wing player known for its attacking prowess as well as tracking back could come on to preserve the goal lead.

Personally speaking I can’t see Mumbai city employing a back 3 with the lack of wing backs slots. The Indian pair of Gabriel & Rowilson along with much talented Brandon Fernandes could be used predominantly from the bench.

Mumbai City FC, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Anelka and Piqiounne could be used in alternate matches however I don’t see both of them starting in a single match. Also, Subhash Singh with the wealth of stamina and pace could be used from the start, however I do question his ball holding skills. Honestly Subhash Singh could be destructive on the right flank or as a 2nd striker. The likes of Mortiz, Norde, Chettri & Cmovs would remain the players to watch out for MCFC this season.

This season MCFC may not be the favorites but they do have a great team lined up. However it remains to be seen how Nicolas Anelka manages and sets his team up. Most ISL Teams have Managers with wealth of experience & it remains to be seen how Anelka copes with the demanding nature of the league. This could turn out to be their biggest weaknesses. Also, they do have a tendency to concede 3goals though their requisite power packed midfield has the capability to score 4 and win it for the team.

Personally, I do think they will finish just outside the top 4 not because they don’t have a great side mainly because other sides are much stronger than MCFC.

Follow the author of this preview – Maulik Mehta on twitter here.

Want to feature your write-up on FNI? Write a preview for Indian Super league!

The second season of Indian Super League is almost here. Here is a chance to show off your writing skills. Write a preview for the second season and send it to us. The best entry will be published on footballnewsindia.in

Indian Super League, ISL, Hero ISL, Football, India, Season 2, Season II, Preview, Soccer, LeagueTerms & Conditions :

 

  • The shorter and powerful the preview, the better!
  • Content should be original and should not be copied from else where. No plagiarism please.
  • The discretion of selecting the best entry solely lies with the editor of FNI.

Punjab Super League commences on 12th September, 2015

Punjab Football Association has planned to commence 29th JCT Punjab Super League 2015 – 2016 from 12th September, 2015 and conclude on 28th October, 2015.  The following top ten teams from Punjab are taking part in this event:

  • Dalbir Football Academy, Patiala
  • Punjab Police Football Team, Jalandhar
  • Border Security Force (BSF) – Jalandhar,
  • United Punjab FC – Mahilpur(Hoshiarpur)
  • JCT Football Academy – Chohal (Hoshiarpur)
  • Rail Coach Factory Football Team, Kapurthala
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – Jalandhar,
  • Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) – Hoshiarpur,
  • JCT Football Club, Chohal (Hoshiarpur)
  • Sporting Punjab Football Club, Rurka Kalan (Jalandhar)

Total nine rounds of five matches each have been arranged as this year Punjab Super Football League will be held on single leg league basis thereby each team having three home, three away and three neutral games.  Thus according to change in format and not to confine this league in only three four districts, this year too PFA has planned to hold League’s neutral matches in multi-cities of Punjab so as it may reach at rural level in entire state of Punjab, some areas where grassroots football projects are also going on, have been chosen to host super league matches for youth of Punjab.

 

The opening ceremony has been assigned to District Football Association, Sangrur which is to be held at Zakir Hussain Stadium, Malerkotla on 12th September, 2015 at 4.00 PM followed by opening match between JCT Football Club (re-launched Professional Club of North India) and Rail Coach Factory Football Team, where a set of three neutral matches have been planned.  Whereas, a set of four neutral matches followed by closing ceremony on 28th October, 2015 has been assigned to Doaba Sporting Club, Khera – Mahilpur (District Hoshiarpur).

 

Although, JCT is playing its pivotal role in supporting PFA development activities, however, Legend International (INDPRO SPORTS) has also joined hand with Punjab Football Association and JCT to boost up football development in Punjab State.  PFA approves ‘ULTRA’ as official ball for playing Super League Games.  The kick off time for all matches is fixed as 4.00 PM.

Fixtures :

Punjab, Football, State, Super, League, Soccer, JCT, Mahilpur Fixture Round IV - VI Punjab, Football, State, Super, League, Soccer, JCT, Mahilpur

Punjab State Super Football League To Expand

Punjab, Football, State, Super, League, Soccer, JCT, MahilpurWith a view to expand Punjab State Super Football League, the executive committee of Punjab Football Association has decided to hold a qualifying round of eight teams at Guru Hargobind Stadium (G.N.College) Phagwara and Govt. School Football Ground, Phagwara for the period from 10th August to 22nd August, 2015.

Teams competing in the Qualifying Round are as under :

Pool – A

  • Jagat Singh Palahi Football Academy – Phagwara
  • Ludhiana Football Club – Ludhiana
  • United Punjab Football Club –Pathankot
  • Principal Harbhajan Sporting Club – Mahilpur

Pool – B

  • International Football Club – Phagwara
  • SGGS Football Society – Jalandhar
  • Sporting Punjab FC – Rurka Kalan
  • Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Football Academy – Banga

Top two teams of the respective pools will play final match on knock out basis to determine the champion team of this round which will be given berth in 29th JCT Punjab State Super Football League, 2015 -2016.

Fixtures

Punjab, Football, State, Super, League, Soccer, JCT, Mahilpur

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

Kerala Footballer Ananthu Murali Signs 3-year Deal with DSK Shivajians F.C.

Ananthu Murali, DSK Shivajian FC, Football, Pune, Soccer, Kerala, Thrissur, India, Junior, Bajaj Allianz, Germany, Bayern MunichFootball has always been a passion for Ananthu Murali. The 18 year old footballer from Thrissur started his footballing career at the age of 6 with Red Star Football Academy. He has played for the Thrissur district Football team in U-13, U-14 categories and has also been the captain in the ’11-’12 season. He was also the captain of the Kerala state junior football team in the interstate tournament in 2014. Ananthu was one among the 5 footballers and the only player from Kerala who were sent to Bayern Munich for training in 2014 by Bajaj Allianz.

Sportico Ventures Pvt Ltd, the renowned Sports management company based out of Cochin spotted Ananthu during his training with the National Junior team in Goa. The company arranged a trial for him at the DSK Shivajians F.C. in Pune. He trained with the top players in the team and proved his potential on the first day itself. After a week’s trial and scouting, Ananthu has signed a 3-year contract with the I-League second division club and will be representing the team in the coming season.

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