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Mohun Bagan Athletic Club: A story soaked in inspiration

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By Arnab Mitra

At the crest of the revolutionary movement in India, the Mohun Bagan club was established on August 15, 1889 in Kolkata. Bhupendranath Basu, with the help of Kirti Mitra and Nilkanta Sen founded Mohun Bagan under the name Mohun Bagan Sporting Club on August 15, 1889. But on the first anniversary of the club, professor FJ Rowe, suggested that in the absence of angling and rifle shooting activities, the word “athletic” would be more appropriate for the club. From then on, India’s oldest football club has been known as Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.

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In 1893, the club started with its mission of achieving the Coochbehar Cup. After that it participated in various tournaments like Trades Cup, Gladstone Cup but was unsuccessful. Eleven years later, the club appointed Sailen Basu, a subedar major in the British Indian Army as their coach. Under his training, the first victory came in 1904 through Coochbehar cup. In the same year, the club reached the final of Gladstone Cup by defeating the reigning IFA shield winners Dalhousie by 6-1. The triumph of the club continued and they won the Trades Cup, Gladstone Cup and Coochbehar Cup in a successive order.

The people soon resembled the victory of the club as ‘their victory against the British empire’. The 1905 ‘participation of Bengal’ ignites a sense of nationalism among the Bengalis. It was the first time after Sepoy Mutiny that a large number of people participated in the freedom movement. It was on this note in 1911, when the first national team of India, Mohun Bagan reached the final of IFA Shield.

According to then Lt.Governor of Bengal, William Duke commented, “To see the final match, the British Government expects a crowd of one million people in Calcutta.” People from all corners of Bengal, Dhaka, Pabna, Rajsahi, Nadia came to Calcutta to see the final match on August 18, 1911. The bare footed Mohun Bagan team, lead by Shibdas Bhaduri won the match by defeating the British Club, East Yorkshire Regiment by (2-1).
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On the note of this famous victory, singer Karunanidhan Bandopadhyay composed a song which was published in September-October issue of Bengali magazine ‘Manasi’ in 1911. Here are glimpses of some of the famous lines of that song.

Jegeche aaj desher chele pathe loker bhir
[The sons of the soil have awaken: the streets are crowded]
Antopure futlo hasi banga-rupasir
[The bengali women have broken out in smiles]
Goal diyeche gorar gole bangalir aaj jeet
[We’ve scored against the whites; it’s a triumph of the Bengalis]
Akash cheye uthche udhao unmadonar geet
[The air is filled with song of rejoicing]
Aajker ei bijoy bani bhulbe nako desh
[The motherland will never forget today’s victory]
Sabbash sabbash Mohun Bagan khelecho bhai besh

[Hail!Hail! Mohun Bagan you have played very well]

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For the last 125 years the club becomes an inspiration for the Bengalis. It is the first football club of Asia, and it makes the country proud at several occasions since 1911. The captain of the first Indian Football Team in 1948 London Olympic was Talimeran Aao, from Mohun Bagan. This trend followed as the 1952 Helisinki Olympics and 1956 Melbourne Olympics were led by Bagan’s Sailen Manna and Samar Banerjee. Manna was also the captain of the jubilant Indian team of the 1951 Asiad followed by Chuni Goswami of the 1962 Asiad.

Professor Sumit Mitra, a die-hard fan of the Mohun Bagan club said, “Mohun Bagan is not only a football club, but it is an institution that inspired the nation to fight against the British and showed the people that the invincible Empire can be trounced.” [9]

[Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZi4j9Hs_k]

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FIFA U-17 World Cup Director Javier Ceppi calls India a ‘Footballing Nation’

India recorded the highest attendance in a U-17 World Cup with 1,347,131 spectators.

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FIFA U-17 World Cup
Football match in progress. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 29, 2017 : FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi on Sunday heaped praise on India for hosting the meet and called it a “footballing nation”.

India recorded the highest attendance in a U-17 World Cup with 1,347,131 spectators. The earlier record was held by China in 1985 where 1,230,976 spectators witnessed football’s marquee tournament.

“Three years of hard work by all in LOC (Local Organising Committee) and we can finally say: job was done! India, you are a footballing nation, 1,347,131 fans say so,” Ceppi tweeted. India hosted 23 nations in the just concluded U-17 World Cup. (IANS)

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Saudi Football Chiefs Apologize over Team’s Refusal to Pay Tribute

The Saudi football chiefs have apologised over their team's refusal to pay tributes to the London Attack victims.

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Football
Saudi Football Players (White) getting into playing positions while Australia (Yellow) pays tribute. Twitter.
  • Saudi Arabia and Australia played a World Cup qualifying game in Australia on Thursday, 8th of June
  • Before the game, Australian players linked arms in tribute to the victims of the London Attack
  • The players from the Saudi team did not take part in the tribute, inviting criticism from all over the world

June 06, 2017: The Football Federation Australia (FFA) organized a minute’s silence to pay their tributes to the victims of the London Attack minutes before the start of the World Cup qualifying game between Australia and Saudi Arabia and both the teams were briefed in advance.

While the Australian stars linked arms and stood in support of condemning the terror attack, the Saudi players were seen taking up their respective playing positions on the field for the kick-off despite having agreed to the tradition in the pre-game briefing.

ALSO READ: Police Identify 3rd London attacker

The Saudi Arabian team has invited a lot of criticism and anger from the world over. Social media was quick to react and bring up the issue, prompting an apology from the Saudi Football officials. An Australian MP called it “a disgraceful act”.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has made an “unreserved apology”. They continue that the “players did not intend any disrespect to the victims or their families”. They also condemned all acts of terror.

ALSO READ: Theresa May’s Response to London Attack

Two Australians were among the eight victims who died in the London terror attack. Australia went on to win the game 3-2 and joined Saudi Arabia and Japan at the top of the group stage.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Brazilian footballer Robinho faces extended spell on sidelines after scans revealed broken bone in his back

Brazilian footballer Robinho faces an extended spell on the sidelines a broken bone in his back.

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A football fan, Pixabay

Brazil, Jan27, 2017: Brazilian footballer Robinho faces an extended spell on the sidelines after scans revealed a broken bone in his back.

The 33-year-old Atletico Mineiro player suffered the injury during Brazil’s 1-0 friendly victory over Colombia on Thursday, a match that raised money for victims of the Chapecoense air disaster, reports Xinhua news agency.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world. 

“Robinho suffered trauma in his back – a small fracture in the third vertebra,” Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Thursday.

“It’s similar to the one that Neymar had at the (2014) World Cup, but this is a little different because it’s an incomplete fracture without any deviation,” Lasmar added.

Robinho is expected to miss most or all of Atletico Mineiro’s Campeonato Mineiro campaign, which begins on Saturday. (IANS)