|Full name||Sporting Club East Bengal|
|Nickname(s)||Red and Gold Brigade|
|Short name||EB, SCEB|
|Founded||1 August 1920|
|Ground|| Salt Lake Stadium |
East Bengal Ground
|Capacity||Salt Lake Stadium: 85,000|
East Bengal Ground: 23,500
|Owner||Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation |
(Shree Cement Ltd.:76%;
East Bengal Club Pvt. Ltd.: 24%)
|Head coach||Robbie Fowler|
|League||Indian Super League|
|2020–21||Regular Season: 9th of 11|
|Active departments of East Bengal|
Sporting Club East Bengal ( Bengali pronunciation: [ˈi:st ˌbenˈɡɔːl]) is an Indian professional football club based in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal. The club competes in the Indian Super League, the top flight of Indian football.
Founded in August 1920, the club became affiliated with the Indian Football Association in 1922 before earning promotion to the Calcutta Football League first division in 1924. East Bengal won their first league title in 1942 and have since gone on to win the title a record 39 times. The club was also a founding member of the National Football League in 1996 and has won the league title three times. They have also won eight Federation Cups, three Super Cups, a record 29 IFA Shield titles, and a record 16 Durand Cup titles, making the club one of the most decorated in Indian football.
The club is mainly supported by the immigrant population from the eastern region of Bengal (known as Bangal), who were forced to leave their homes during the partition of 1947. For those people, East Bengal Club became a source of identity and hope. The huge influx of dispossessed into the state led to a socio-economic crisis in the state. This led to rivalries among the immigrant population and native population of West Bengal in every sphere of life from jobs, and business, to schools and even on football pitches. As a result, East Bengal has a long-standing rivalry with its cross-town competitors Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan), which is mainly supported by the native population, with whom it competes in the Kolkata derby, Asia's biggest football rivalry. East Bengal also shares a local rivalry with another Kolkata club, Mohammedan. The club dons the iconic red and gold colours, which give it the nickname of Red and Gold Brigade.
On 28 July 1920, Jorabagan Club was scheduled to play against Mohun Bagan in the Coochbehar Cup. Jorabagan sent out their starting eleven but with the notable exclusion of defender Sailesh Bose, who was dropped from the squad for undisclosed reasons. The then vice-president of Jorabagan, Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri, asked in vain for Bose to be included in the line-up. Following his request not being welcomed, Chaudhuri left the club along with Raja Manmatha Nath Chaudhuri, Ramesh Chandra Sen and Aurobinda Ghosh. They then went on to form East Bengal Club as a Sports and Cultural Association in Jorabagan, on 1 August 1920. The club was named East Bengal as the founders hailed from the eastern region of Bengal.Sarada Ranjan Roy took on the role of becoming the first president of this newly formed club while Suresh Chandra Chowdhury and Tarit Bhusan Roy were declared to be the first joint secretaries of the club. Soon after, Nagen Kali, M. Talukdar, B. Sen, N. Gossain, Goshto Paul (on loan from Mohun Bagan), P. Bardhan, S. Das, S. Tagore, J. Mukherjee, Ramesh Chandra Sen, S. Bose, C. Bose, A. Roy and A. Bannerjee were announced to be the members of the first team squad by the board.
In the same month of their formation, the club participated in their maiden tournament in the Hercules Cup, which was a seven-a-side tournament. On 11 August 1920, the club played their first match both in the tournament and in their history against Metropolitan College, which they went on to win 4–0 . East Bengal went on to win the tournament, announcing the arrival of a club which would go on to break many records in the future. The club also won Khagendra Shield in 1921.Following this, the club became affiliated with the Indian Football Association (IFA) and entered league play in the IFA Second Division. The club finished placing third in their maiden season in the league. The first match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan took place on 8 August 1921 in the Cooch Behar Cup semi-final match, which didn't turn in the favour of either of the teams as it ended in a goalless draw. It was an unofficial derby at that time.
In 1924, the club won the Second Division and gained promotion to the IFA First Division after finishing in second place to Cameroons 'B'. As Cameroons 'A' team was already in the First Division the 'B' team could not gain promotion to the same league. East Bengal was next in line for promotion. However, more controversy arose since the IFA allowed only two Indian-based clubs in the IFA First Division at a time. (At that time the IFA was a British organization.) This rule had previously deprived clubs like "Kumartuli" and "Town" from entering the First Division. During a governing body meeting of the IFA, the nine British clubs approved East Bengal's promotion to the First Division. Ironically, the two Indian clubs, Mohun Bagan and Aryan, opposed it. East Bengal's efforts led to the abolition of the oppressive Indian club limit rule.
In 1925, East Bengal made its IFA First Division debut and Mona Dutta became the maiden goalscorer for the club, in the league. On 28 May 1925, the first official Kolkata Derby was played where Nepal Chakraborty scored the only goal for East Bengal.
It took the club till 1942 to win their first IFA First Division title. East Bengal won their first IFA Shield in 1943. They then achieved the double in 1945 by winning both the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and IFA Shield. In 1948, East Bengal became the first team to defeat a foreign club on home soil. They won 2–0 against the visiting Chinese Olympic XI.East Bengal won their first treble in the 1949 season, by winning the Calcutta League, the IFA Shield and the Rovers Cup, becoming the first Indian club to do so. The club went on to win the 1949 Rovers Cup and the Durand Cup in 1951. That period saw the rise of the Pancha Pandavas. The five players, P. B. A. Saleh, Ahmed Khan, P. Venkatesh, Appa Rao and K. P. Dhanaraj played together at the club from 1949 to 1953. The club also won it first DCM Trophy in 1950. The club also won three straight IFA Shields in 1949, 1950 and 1951. The English Football Association 1951–52 annual almanac adjudged East Bengal as the best club in Asia. On being recommended by the president of India, Rajendra Prasad, the club was invited by the Romania Youth Festival Committee in 1953 to participate in a football tournament. They also partook in a tour of the Soviet Union the same year. They were defeated by Soviet side by a margin of 13–1. Apart from football, East Bengal also won Beighton Cup hockey tournament for the first time in 1957 and Bengal Hockey Association league in 1960. Again the club won the Rovers Cup several times during this era—1962, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975—as well as the Durand Cup in 1952, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1972 and 1978. The club also won their first Sait Nagjee football tournament and Bordoloi Trophy in 1968. The club stunned everyone by winning the 1970 IFA Shield against PAS Club of Iran by a score of 1–0, in front of 60,000 supporters at the Eden Gardens. Later the club won the 1973 IFA Shield by defeating Pyongyang City SC of North Korea. In 1978, East Bengal won its first Federation Cup title. In cricket, the club became joint winners with Mohun Bagan, of Cricket Association of Bengal senior league and senior-division knockout tournament.
East Bengal won the Calcutta Football League for six straight years from 1970 to 1975.In 1970 East Bengal topped the Calcutta Football League table without conceding a single goal. East Bengal won against their arch-rivals, Mohun Bagan, multiple times including a record margin of 5–0 in the history of the Kolkata Derby, in 1975. In the same year, East Bengal won the CFL title without losing a single match. The 1970s decade of the club is also commonly known as "Shonali Doshok" (in English Golden era).
The club won the Federation Cup in 1980 and again in 1985. They also became the first Indian club to play in the newly reorganised Asian Club Championship in 1985–86.The club then won their second treble in 1990, under coach Naeemuddin, by winning the IFA Shield, the Rovers Cup, and the Durand Cup in the same season. The club also won the Stafford Cup (1986) and the McDowell's Cup (1995, 1997). In 1993, East Bengal won its first-ever international title the Wai Wai Cup in Nepal. The club also won the Federation Cup, the IFA Shield, the Calcutta Football League, the Durand Cup and the Rovers Cup, several times during this period. In 1996, the club became the founding member of the first nationwide football league in India, the National Football League.
In 1984, Dipak Das joined the club and revamped it. He brought in professionalism and converted the football team into a private, limited company. He also secured sponsorship from local brands and companies like Khadims. In 1998, he collaborated with Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Group, which then formed a new Private Limited Company, with a 50–50 shareholding, called United East Bengal Football Team Private Limited and incorporated the football team—the first in the country. The team was renamed Kingfisher East Bengal FC.
The club entered the 21st century in style, winning the 2000–01 National Football League season. They became the first club to win back-to-back titles after winning the 2002–03 and 2003–04 versions of the league. The club went on to win the Federation Cup again in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. They also won the Indian Super Cup in 2006 and 2011.The club won their third international trophy in the 2003 ASEAN Club Championship, in Jakarta, Indonesia. East Bengal is still the only Indian football team to win any major trophy outside the country. In 2004, East Bengal also won the San Miguel International Cup in Nepal. The club was invited to the tournament by Leicester City, celebrating their 120th Anniversary. In 2004, Leicester City also had partnerships with the East Bengal. Then FIFA president, Joseph Blatter, visited the club tent on 15 April 2007. After a year, East Bengal became the first Indian football team to win against a West Asian team, Al Wihdat SC of Jordan on foreign soil.
East Bengal also made a record eight appearances, between 2004 and 2015, in the AFC Cup.The club played in the semi-finals of 2013 AFC Cup where they lost to Kuwait SC of Kuwait. The club has the achievement of winning the Calcutta Football League title eight consecutive times from 2010 to 2017, breaking their previous record of six times during the 1970s. Following the exit of Kingfisher from the club, Quess Corp signed an agreement with the East Bengal Club and acquired a 70 percent stake in the club in July 2018. The football team was rebranded as Quess East Bengal FC.
On 1 August 2019, the club entered its 100th establishment year. A centenary celebration logo was introduced. Torch rallies and events were organised, attended by former players, coaches, presidents, etc. The centenary kit was unveiled, which was inspired by the 1925–26 season kit.The club participated in the Durand Cup, the Calcutta Football League and the I-League, and played its first match and won against Army Red in the Durand Cup.
The year 2020, saw the wake of COVID-19 which halted the ongoing football season in the country.The then investor, Quess pulled out from the two-year-old agreement by July 2020. On 1 August, the club completed its 100 years of existence. In September, Shree Cement was announced as the new investor of the club. The company acquired 76 percent shares of the club and renamed it from "East Bengal Football Club" to "Sporting Club East Bengal". Later that month, after successful bidding, the club moved from the I-League to the Indian Super League.
In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha swept over India and affected football. Indian clubs boycotted the ongoing Calcutta Football League midway through the season because of this. Amidst much confusion, Royal Regiment was declared winners in the first division. However, East Bengal was not allowed to be promoted 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 protesters. And the hand holding flame torch (known as 'Mawshal' or 'মশাল' in Bangla) became the club emblem, which has remained to this day.
The primary and secondary colours of East Bengal are red and yellow respectively. Traditionally, the home kit consists of a red and yellow jersey with black shorts, while the colours of the away kit vary every year.
The choice of these colours came about after the club was formed when the founders debated over them for the club jersey. At that time, the jerseys used to come from England. The founders, while searching, came across the red and gold colour shirt hanging at the Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co. department store in Chowringhee, Kolkata. It attracted them and they finalised the colours and jersey. It cost ₹80 in 1920, which was four times higher than the average.These colours permanently integrated with the club.
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
East Bengal is a club mainly supported by the migrant population, known as Bangal , from the former Indian part of East Bengal (now modern-day Bangladesh). East Bengal is one of the biggest and most supported football clubs in Asia. There are approximately 30 to 40 million supporters from all across the nation and overseas.In October 2020, the club got voted as the most popular football club in India on an AFC poll by its supporters, gaining approximately 49% of the votes.
East Bengal Ultras, the main ultras (supporters) group of East Bengal, was established in 2013. It was the first ultras group to be established in the country. Ever since its inception, this group has set many new records and broken older ones. Though initially, people were skeptical about the group, now they have seen in what ways this group is benefitting Indian football. Though all these achievements came along with some controversies. As in the past, there have been incidences of fights and hooliganism among the fans of the rival clubs, the administration does not completely trust the group with its functioning.
Established on 15 November 2006, East Bengal the Real Power is the first registered fan club in India. It is the largest fan club of East Bengal and one of the largest in the country. In its early years, its functioning was limited to online platforms only, but later on, it got turned into a supporters' group.
Unlike East Bengal, the crosstown rival Mohun Bagan (ATK Mohun Bagan after merging with ATK) is supported mainly by the native populace of the current state West Bengal. The Kolkata Derby has its name taken from the Old Firm Derby between Celtic F.C. and Rangers F.C. and dates back to the 1920s. After Indian independence and the partition of Bengal, the huge influx of immigrants from the eastern part of Bengal led to a socio-economic crisis in the state. This led to rivalries in jobs, business, schools and even on the football pitch, among the immigrants and native population. This rivalry became a fierce one, and the Kolkata Derby grew in popularity and reached its peak during the 1960s and 1970s. 130,000 spectators, the most attended sporting event in India.The Kolkata Derby holds a record of
East Bengal is mainly organised as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, which means one can avail membership in the club. There are around 12,000 members.Although, a limited company, named East Bengal Club Pvt. Ltd., was later formed and both are governed by the club parallelly. Sponsorships and investments happen via this corporate company. The club is governed by its own set of rules and regulations. Amendments and resolutions are passed via extraordinary or annual general meeting.
As of 2020, the club is owned by Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation, which is a joint venture between Shree Cement and East Bengal. The investor has 76 percent shares and club has the rest.This joint venture has the rights to control sporting departments of the club. Top Tech TMT, TV9 Bangla, Wasabee Oriental Cuisine, Red FM 93.5 and BKT Tires are the associate sponsors.
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. The first ground used by the club was Kumartuli Park in north Kolkata.
The Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), is a multi-purpose stadium in Kolkata, built in 1984. The stadium is the second largest non-auto racing stadium in the world and the largest in India. It is currently used mainly for football matches. The stadium includes a unique running track, long jump track, electronic scoreboard, natural turf, floodlighting arrangement, air-conditioned VIP restroom and Conference Hall along with Medical Room and a Doping Control Room. The Salt Lake Stadium hosts the home games of East Bengal in the Indian Super League and the AFC Cup. The total capacity of the stadium is 85,000.
The East Bengal Ground is located in Kolkata and is the club's home ground. The stadium lies in the Maidan (Kolkata) area on the northern side of Fort William and near the Eden Gardens. This stadium is currently used mostly for Calcutta Football League matches, and by the academy teams and women's team. The total capacity of the stadium is 23,500.
Barasat Stadium is also used by the club for some of its regional matches, especially in cases where the Salt Lake Stadium or East Bengal Ground cannot be used.Kanchenjunga Stadium, a multipurpose stadium based in Siliguri, has also been used several times to host club football matches. It also hosted the 2012 Federation Cup. Kalyani Stadium, situated on the outskirts of Kolkata at Kalyani, was used by East Bengal as their home turf during the 2019–20 I-League.
The team trains and practices at one of the VYBK practice grounds.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Head coach||Robbie Fowler|
|Assistant coach||Tony Grant|
|Set-piece coach||Terence McPhillips|
|Goalkeeping coach||Bobby Mimms|
|Sports scientist||Jack Inman|
|General secretary||Kalyan Majumdar|
|Assistant general secretary||Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta|
|Accountant||Tapan Kumar Das|
|Football Secretary||Rajat Guha|
|Cricket Secretary||Sadananda Mukherjee|
|Hockey Secretary||Chanchal Banerjee|
|Athletic Secretary||Siddhartha Sircar|
|Ground Secretary||Dipankar Chakraborty|
|Tennis Secretary||Manas Kumar Roy|
|East Bengal FC - Record in NFL/I-League|
|1996–97||5||3||2||0||6||2||+4||11||Qualify for Championship stage|
|1998–99||10||8||2||0||19||2||+17||26||Qualify for Second Stage|
|East Bengal FC - Record in ISL|
|Competition||No. of Appearances||Seasons||Best Result|
|Asian Club Championship||2||1985–86, 1998–99||Group stages|
|Asian Cup Winners' Cup||5||1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995, 1997–98||Quarter-finals (1991–92)|
|ASEAN Club Championship||1||2003||Champions|
|AFC Cup||8||2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015||Semi-finals (2013)|
Major trophies of East Bengal include the following:
The women's football team was formed in 2001, but was disbanded in 2003. It won the Calcutta Women's Football League title in its inaugural season and were runners up in 2002.In the centenary year, the women's team was relaunched. In the first year of relaunch, the East Bengal women's team became runner's up of the 2020 Kanyashree Cup.
The East Bengal Club Cricket team participates in various tournaments for varying age groups conducted by the Cricket Association of Bengal. Currently it participates in the CAB First Division League, CAB Senior Knockout, CAB Super League and JC Mukherjee Trophy. The team plays its home matches mostly at the Eden Gardens and Jadavpur University Campus Ground. They have won around 60 major state-level trophies so far.Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Ajay Jadeja, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sourav Ganguly have played on the team.
This department started after the Independence of India. The club was affiliated with the Bengal Hockey Association and participated in the BHA First Division hockey league and the Beighton Cup. They won 13 trophies. The team was disbanded in 2000.The hockey department was restarted in 2021 with Calcutta Hockey League.
East Bengal has an athletics team, which is affiliated with the West Bengal Athletic Association, and participates in various tournaments in West Bengal.The club also organises Annual Athletic meets at the club ground.
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, is an Indian professional sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Founded in 1889, the club is one of the oldest in India and Asia. The club is most notable for its victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield final. This victory made Mohun Bagan the first all-Indian side to win a championship over a British side and was a major moment during India's push for independence. Although Mohun Bagan is a multi-sport club, the primary sport since its foundation has been football.
The Calcutta Women's Football League, also referred to as the Kanyashree Cup, is the top division of women's football league in the Indian State of West Bengal. The League is organised by the Indian Football Association (IFA), the official football governing body of the State.
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The Calcutta Football League (CFL) is a men's professional state football league in West Bengal, India, organised by Indian Football Association. Due to sponsorship reasons, the league is officially known as the Officer's Choice Blue Calcutta Football League, is the top football league in the state and the oldest football league in Asia.
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Aryan Football Club or Techno Aryan FC or simply Aryan is an Indian professional football club based in the city of Kolkata, that competes in the Calcutta Football League. The club was founded in 1884 as Aryan Sports Club. It started playing football some years later, making it one of Asia's oldest football clubs. It plays all the home matches in the East Bengal-Aryan Ground.
Kolkata Derby, locally known as "Boro Match", is the football match in Kolkata, between East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan. In January 2020, Kolkata based Indian Super League club ATK with the football department of Mohun Bagan merged to become ATK Mohun Bagan. The rivalry between these two teams is almost 100 years old, and the matches witnessed large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons. It is considered to be one of the biggest Asian footballing rivalry. The first match was played on 8 August 1921 in Coochbehar Cup and latest match of this historical derby was played on 19 February 2021 in ISL. The Kolkata Derby is considered to be greatest derby in Asian Football and also one of the biggest derbies in the world.
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, is an Indian professional sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Founded in 1889, is one of the oldest in India and Asia. The club is most notable for its victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield final. This victory made Mohun Bagan the first all-Indian side to win a championship over a British side and was a major moment during India's push for independence. Although Mohun Bagan is a multi-sport club, the primary sport since its foundation has been football.
The 2019–20 season was the club's 100th season in existence. East Bengal FC formed in 1920, played its centenary season, competing in the I-League, Durand Cup and Calcutta Football League.
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