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06.06.2006 : SOHAM DEY ...The appetite to keep the football hunger alive in a cricket crazy nation like India has always been served well by West Bengal. Over the years footballing legends have blessed the turf of the  Eden Garden/Salt Lake Stadium rejuvenating the game time and time again. The legacy goes back to 1977 when the Black Pearl often called the king of football Pele showed his magic infront of a packed Eden Garden in Kolkata when he arrived with his club New York Cosmos to play against Mohun Bagan.

In recent times many other legends like Roger Milla in 1990, Oliver Kahn in 2007, Maradona in 2008 have written epic chapters to fulfill the football hunger of the Indian and the Bengali football faithfuls reinstating the lost glory of the beautiful game in the country. Another glorious chapter looks set to be transformed into dose of reality as the Barcelona and Argentine maestro Lionel Messi is set to storm the footballing calendar of India as Argentina will play their long awaited friendly against Venezuela in the Saltlake Stadium on 2nd of September 2011.

The friendly will grant the chance of a lifetime to the thousand Messi fans in catching the live glimpses of the reigning Ballon Dor winner and considered to be the best of this generation. The people who are used to see the skills of Messi from their 15 inches idiot box will finally have the chance to witness an epic chapter in front of their own eyes. 

This blockbuster news was announced in the official press conference at Hotel Oberoi Grand, which featured important personalties like the head of the Celebrity Management Group  Bhaswar Goswami and Dharamdas Pandy, Vice President of the AIFF and IFA  Subrata Dutta, Hon'ble MIC - Sports, Govt. of West Bengal Madan Mitra and the IFA secretary  Utpal Ganguli.

The confirmation to witness the Argentine whizkid Messi was supported from the statement by Mr. Bhaswar Goswami which said that the contract agreed upon by the Argentine board was to give their consent in bringing the full strength squad which included the likes of Tevez and the player of the moment Messi that guarantees his participation.

The whole Argentine squad will be arrive in Kolkata on August 30 staying for four days. CMG was the brainchild in bringing Maradona to Kolkata and they have been the chief patronage this term also reviving the craze for the game again.

This rewarding act was reflected in the encouraging words from the AIFF and IFA Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta as he mentioned that these works of CMG is well appreciated as the people of Kolkata will witness a glorious day with the arrival of the Argentine national team. These works of CMG will increase the popularity of the game alarming the government to take some able initiative which will finally benefit the game of football. The PLS which will start from next year help in adding the extra craze to the game if star players around the world can be recruited.

In this historic friendly it has been announced as The lowest price would be Rs. 1000 and the importance of the friendly which will be a turning point in the footballing history of this country.

The efforts to transform the condition of the stadium will start as the stage needs to be revamped in welcoming the heroes of the world football. The match will start from 7pm in the evening which will promise an evening filled with the passion for a footballing extravaganza.



06.06.2011 :  It looks like the making of a sensational comeback as the Dutch maestro Guus Hiddink looks to fill the managerial vacancy at Stamford Bridge with who assumed the figure of a cult hero among the Chelsea faithfuls during his previous short tenure of six months in 2008-09 season.

His name is familiar among many countries which enjoyed their era of a revolution under this man transforming the base of the team into a hard bunch of compact mentality hard to be broken down. The sources from the Turkish football federation hinted that the national team is destined to lose their manager as a compensation of 4 million looks to seal the agreement in bringing Hiddink back to Chelsea.

Although Hiddink gave his words of not walking out on Turkey but at the same time reflected his fondness for the London giants and missing the domestic flavour of day to day excitement challenging for the big honours.

Following the friendly between Belgium and Turkey Hiddink made it clear that his future is in dark of whether leading the national team in their next qualifier or not and his age is a factor where he wants to enjoy the base of regularity in his job rather than waiting for months for an international tie.

The strong bond between Hiddink and Abramovich is another important factor which was reflected when the former acted as an advisor of the Chelsea owner who in return paid his salaries when Hiddink was the boss of Russia. The six months spell back in 2008-09 still flows among the memory bank of the Chelsea die hards as the team transformed their fortunes in a miraculous way after the Midas touch of Hiddink.

The Fa Cup glory together with finishing third in the Premier League and almost defeating the Catalans in a controversial tie were the benchmarks of a season Chelsea were thought to stutter for even making the pots of the Champions League . The achievements of the season still wakes the spirit up of every Chelsea supporter and the Stamford Bridge  is close in getting the man back in the tunnel who gave rise to a new Blue spirit when the fate was looking to be sealed in the wrong way.



06.06.2011 : The sponsorship saga scrambled on as Chirag United undertook a vital press conference in signaling the end of their honeymoon period. The sponsorship between Chirag and United Fc is not mentioned in the IFA or AIFF rulebook.

As a result of which the partnership between Chirag and United failed to build the Private Limited Company enabling Chirag to take the owning rights. Although the Private Limited Company was formed but there is no mention of its existence in a written document and the result is that Chirag is spending as the main sponsor instead of getting any share of profit.

But the main concern came when United Fc was unable to provide the balance sheets as asked by the AIFF. Chirag was requested to pay the amount being a sponsor to help in paying the wages of the players which finally ended the partnership of the two parties.

But the thing which Mr Kaustav Ray , Head of Chirag failed to mention was the mileage that Chirag gets ahead of United in popularising their brand name.

The whole Indian football fraternity knows the club by the name of Chirag which is a major factor in fulfilling the needs of the sponsor in making themselves heard among the masses. This point was stressed by the head of United Sports Club Alokesh Kundu as he stressed the amount of popularity Chirag gets in endorsing as the prime sponsor fading the spotlight of the United Club to a certain extent.

Thus the issue looks set  to be settled as a divorce is imminent between Chirag and United.



06.06.2011 : The word excitement was revisited once again as the Copa Libertadores semi final between Santos and Cerro Porteno was finally settled after a goal crazy second leg which saw three goals being scored by each side giving a reflection of a topsy turvy affair unfolding from the start till the finish.
The first leg saw the Brazilian boys get an edge over their  opponents from Paraguay with a 1-0 win courtesy a well executed goal from Edu Dracena and it was imminent that the tie would finally see its dust settled in the second leg after such a slender lead separating both the sides. 

The expectation was fulfilled as the two sides unveiled their bravehearts giving a match to remember in days to come. The away side started the goal feast much to the dismay of the homeside as Ze Eduardo placed a glancing header past the goalkeeper being set up nicely by Elano from a free kick awarded to Santos.

Thus the first goal came as a blow to the spirits of Cerro Porteno giving the injection of confidence and an insurance of the vital away goal to Santos. The lead was doubled from a bizarre own goal by Diego Barretto piling up more misery on the home outfit. However Cerro Porteno salvaged some pride minutes after going down by two as Cesar Benitez capitalized from a well delivered corner by juan Iturbe heading home and reducing the deficit in the process.

But the day belonged to the tune of the Samba as deep in the injury time of the first half Neymar added a third sealing the fortunes of Cerro Porteno in setting up their dream date. But the second half saw a bit of rejuvenation from the home side as they started to build some well constructed attacks raiding the Santos defence with a lot of confidence. Reward came in the form of second goal for Cerro Porteno via a superb volley from the substitute Juan Lucero.
The last minutes of the game saw Cerro desperately looking for the equaliser pinning the Santos team with waves of attacks.  The equaliser finally came in 81mins from a screamer of a shot launched by Jonathan Fabbro 25yards out bursting the top corner with a venomous statement. The equaliser was too little too late as Santos had the flow of the tide under their control having scored three valuable away  goals.
The match finally ended as the boys of Muricy Ramalho conquered the hurdles reaching the penultimate stage of the Copa Libertadores setting up a dream two legged tie against CA Penarol of Uruguay with the chance of reclaiming the throne they won twice before and helping the tumultous journey to end with taste of champagnes all around.

The 2011 Copa Libertadores Finals will be a two-legged football tie that will be played on June 15 2011 and June 22 2011, which will decide the winner of the 2011 season of the Copa Libertadores. The winners will receive the  Copa Libertadores trophy. The 2011 final will be the culmination of the 52nd season of the tournament.

The winner will play against the winners of the 2011 Copa Sudamericana in the 2012 Recopa Sudamericana and also enter the semi-finals of the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.



Team Won      
Argentina Independiente 7      
Argentina Boca Juniors 6      
Uruguay Peñarol 5      
Argentina Estudiantes 4      
Brazil São Paulo 3      
Uruguay Nacional 3      
Paraguay Olimpia 3      
Brazil Grêmio 2      
Argentina River Plate 2      
Brazil Cruzeiro 2      
Brazil Santos 2      
Brazil Internacional 2      
Brazil Palmeiras 1      
Colombia Atlético Nacional 1      
Chile Colo-Colo 1      
Argentina Racing 1      
Brazil Flamengo 1      
Argentina Argentinos Juniors 1      
Argentina Vélez Sársfield 1      
Brazil Vasco da Gama 1      
Colombia Once Caldas 1      
Ecuador LDU Quito 1      











 AFC Adhoc Committee meeting for Indian Professional Football


14.04.2011: The AFC Ad-hoc Committee for Indian Professional Football met on Wednesday here in the capital of India under the chairmanship of AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and made several proposals to further the professionalisation of the game.

Attending the fourth meeting of this committee, which has been set up with the aim of professionalising football in the country, were the All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel, who is the Deputy Chairman, along with FIFA Executive Committee member Manilal Fernando, prominent Indian club owners and officials.

The key proposals, which were deliberated upon and recommended to the AIFF, were: composition of the I-League, timeline to set up the I-League 2011-2012 season, the registration of I-League clubs and the I-League organisation.

At the outset, Bin Hammam said the commitment of the members and the AIFF was spurring professional football in India.

“I believe that since we last met we have achieved a lot,” said Bin Hammam. “I appreciate your commitment and dedication because without this no improvement can take place. In my capacity as AFC President, I am very much committed.

“Without India there can be no football in Asia. We will work hand in hand to achieve our goal.”

The AFC chief also referred to India’s participation in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™.
“Another evidence was the participation of the Indian team in the AFC Asian Cup in Doha,” said Bin Hammam. “We were happy to see the progress of the team and though we need a lot more the appearance of the Asian Cup was not a bad one. It was an encouraging one. It made the people think of how much India is capable of giving to Asia.”

A thorough and wide-ranging inspection of all I-League clubs was conducted last year by an AFC Professional Football Project Special Mission Team, and the members, after discussing the report presented to them, approved the composition of the I-League first division with 10 clubs that have met the criteria and decided to give a waiver to four clubs, which have failed to meet the requirements.

The 10 clubs, which complied with the I-League criteria, are: 1. McDowell Mohun Bagan (Salt Lake Stadium), 2. Kingfisher East Bengal (Salt Lake Stadium), 3. Chirag United SC (Barasat Stadium - To improve the stadium facilities by July), 4. Viva Kerala(Jawahar Stadium- to improve the stadium facilities by July), 5. Mumbai FC (Cooperage Football Stadium - to improve the stadium facilities by July), 6. JCT Mills FC(Guru Nanak Stadium), 7. Pune FC (Ballewadi Stadium), 8. Churchill Brothers SC (Nehru Stadium), 9. Dempo SC (Nehru Stadium), 10. Salgaocar SC (Nehru Stadium).

The members also recommended that three clubs - ONGC (Cooperage Football Stadium), Air India (Cooperage Football Stadium) and HAL Bangalore (Karnataka FA Stadium) – who failed to meet the ‘commercial entity’ criteria, and also AIFF XI (Ambedkar Stadium) be given a grace period of one season in the first division on the condition that if any one of them wins the I-League or finishes second or third, they will not be eligible to represent India in the AFC Champions League.

It was further suggested that the top two second division teams would be eligible for promotion to the first division only if they satisfied the professional league criteria. In case they fail to meet the criteria then there would be no relegation of any club from the first division, which would continue with the same 14 teams.

The members agreed to a proposal that the deadline for the clubs to improve their stadiums would be July 2011, following which another inspection of the clubs would be undertaken in July-September 2011. Thereafter, the I-League’s 2011 season would kick off on September 2011.

The committee proposed that the I-League Regulations should be revised to ban the registration and participation of I-League clubs in other leagues other than the I-League and that I-League club players should not be allowed to register with any other club other than I-League clubs.

With all the matches at present being organised by the local football association, the committee proposed that the clubs should start implementing the home match operations, including and not limited to ticket sales, match operations, and security.

(Courtesy: )


Indian Arrows hold Pune FC at Their home ground in I-League

10.04.2011: Indian Arrows   0 - 0   Pune FC
Man of the Match : Jewel Raja (INA)

INR : Jagroop, Abhishek, Deepak, Inder, Lalrindika, Lalrozama, Jewel, Shilton, Manandeep(jaagtar), Jibon (Subhod), Jeje,

PFC : Subrata, Tabia, Selwyn, Tamba, Gurjinder, Venkatesh (Subhash Singh), J Prasad, lester, Keita(Arata Izumi), Paresh (Velito Cruz), Edmar,




10.04.2011: Churchill Brothers   2 - 1   Chirag United   

     CU: Sunil Chettri 27',

     CB: Y.Raju 60', Zakir 63'
    Man of the Match  : MP Zakir (CB)

CB : Vinoy, Raju, Gourmangi, Rowilson, Robert, Israil( vincent), Lenney, Zakir, Charan, Odafa, Boima.

CU: Somnath, Chika, Arnab, Narugopal, Sukhen, Lalkamal, Choi( Junior), Soumik( Rafiq), Tulunga, Sunil, Joshimar.  Zakir 63'

10.04.2011: SOHAM DEY : After the gauntlet was thrown by East Bengal winning the Kolkata Derby moving upto second in the I league standings it was important for Churchill Brothers to win in order to reclaim their second spot and be on level terms as far as the points are concerned with the league leaders Salgaocar . But the opposition was also in tune to give them a deserving fight to earn those plaudits .

After the defeat to Dempo in their last match ,it was time for the perfect reply from the current Federation cup champions and the ultimate underdog of current I League Chirag United. The match started with a free kick for Chirag in 3mins which was wasted by Chika Wali hitting the shot wide . Sunil Chettri was looking active in the first fifteen minutes for Chirag hitting a left footer in 12 mins which just missed the target and his pass found Josimar in the box but his poor header made it a moment for Chirag United to forget and get on with the game. Churchill Brothers also got a taste of the action when Boima found their top marksman Odafa but his shot was well blocked by Sukhen .

But it was the away team Chirag United who found the breakthrough in 27mins through Sunil Chettri scoring his 51st goal in the NFL currently known as I league . Thus the striker who was lost in the midst of the so called Major League Soccer in the United States made his mark that he has finally arrived back home.The goal was a wake up call to the Churchill players who started to see a lot of the ball earning corners .

 A moment was created to equalize for Churchill when a rash tackle of Arnab on Odafa elped to win a free kick just outside the box but the shot was well saved by Somnath who was hell bent on defending the precious lead of Chirag. Towards the end of the first half Chirag United got their first corner which nearly proved to be crucial but Chettri missed the header by an inch .Thus the score remained the same in the first half. The second half began with a signal of intent to score from Chirag as they started to invite pressure on the Chirag defence .

 The first substitution came in 52mins when Israil Gurung was sacrificed bringing on Kayne Vincent as the Churchill bench wanted the equalizer badly . Finally Churchill Brothers got their valuable goal but it was courtesy an own goal from the Chirag defender Chika Wali who tried to clear a tricky ball from Y Raju putting the ball in his own net . Withhin a space of 4mins in 64mins Churchill Brothers turned the tide of the tie as they took the lead but this time with the help of their own player Zakir who scored  being set up by their ever reliable Odafa Okolie who turned the provider this time instead of being the scorer.

The 4mins completely turned the destiny of the match and Chirag United were shellshocked with the complete turn of events having to chase the match which they were leading at the start. But they were unable to give a perfect reply as Churchill started to play the possession game wearing them out . A golden and final chance came for  them towards the end in 80mins when a one –on-one chance was blown away by Sunil Chettri. The final whistle brought a sense of relief to the Churchill camp as they passed a stern test going on level points with Salgaocar having played three games more than them while Chirag United wasted their opportunity to overtake Mohun Bagan in the sixth place and this is their second defeat on the road . But there are still matches to be played , points to be earned , goals to be scored and excitement to be written as the I League is reaching its climax .


FT : Match end. Churchill win 2-1. They reached to 43 points.
94': Last minute chance to Chirag. Sukhen Dey's long throw in cleared.
90': 4 minutes added as extra time.
88': Still churchill is leading 2 - 1.
84': Chirag got a corner in right side but Tulunga's kick cleared.
81': Great chance missed by Chirag. one to one situation with Sunil and Vinoy from right but nice save of Vinoy.
80': Raju Y. of Churchill crossed from right but Sukhen cleared.
73': PLAYER CHANGE: Chirag: Choi out and Junior Came.
72': Churchill got Free Kick. Choi fouled.
64': Churchill is leading 2-1. yellow card to Zakir.
64': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL..Zakir scored for Churchill from Odafa pass.
63': PLAYER CHANGE: Churchill: Vinish Balan came and Vincent out.
62': Now the scoreline is 1 - 1.
61': PLAYER CHANGE: Chirag : Md. Rafiq came and Soumik out.
60': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,...Self goal of Chika Wali while cleared a poor cross of Y. Raju of Churchill.
59': Chirag got corner. Lalkamal kick cleared.
55': Still the score line is 1-0 for chirag United.
52': PLAYER CHANGE: Churchill: Kayne Vincent came and Israil Gurung out.
50': Attack of Churchill. Chika Wali cleared an effort of Israil Gurrung.
48': Yellow card to Gourmandi of Churchill who pulled Joshimar.
47': 2nd half starts. Odafa Okolie got a chance form Israil cross but finally failed.
HT: It's half time now. Chirag is leading 1-0.
46': Yellow card to Arnab Mondol of Chirag. Free kick for Churchill. Danger area. But before taking shot Referee says half time.
45': 2 minute added as injury time.
45': Chance missed by Joshimar but Robart Cleared by a corner. 1st corner of Chirag. Lalkamal's cross and Chettri's header missed the target for an inch.
43': Chirag is leading 1-0. Indian Arrows 0 - 0 Pune FC at Gurgaon in half time.
40': Odafa to Boima in Chirag Box. but Somnath well covered. 5th corner for Churchill but no impact in Lenney's shot. Cleared.
37': Israil Gurung fouled Narugopal in right side. Churchill is pressurizing now. Yellow card to Israil.

35': Nice Shot and nice saved by Somnath. corner in right side of Chirag box. Cleared.
35': Arnab fouled Odafa just out side of Chirag Box. free Kick. Danger area.
33': Corner for Churchill but no impact.
29': Chirag United is leading 1 - 0.
28': International class goal of Sunil by a back Volley from a well pass of Joshimar. This is his 51st goal in NFL.
27': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Sunil Chettri scored goal for Chirag.
24': Good chance to Churchill. Boima to Odafa in right and Odafa shot cleared by Sukhen last minute.
20': Charan Rai fouled Tulunga from behind.
16': Chirag attacked from left. Sunil cross with left footer and Joshimar's poor head. no effect.
15': No score yet in the match.
14': Chirag got a Free kick just top of the Box ut Chi's shot deflected from wall of Churchill players and out.
12': Chettri effort from left but his left footer missed the target.
10': Gourmangi well blocked Joshimar in top of the box.
5': Lenney of Churchill crossed from right but went out.
3': Fre Kick for Chirag. Missed kick of Chika Wali went out wide.

Ongc Beat HAL in their home match of I-League

 09.04.2011: ONGC   4 - 0   HAL

ONGC: Yusa 18'(from Free - kick),

Babatunde 36'(Through header from Yusa's pass),

Kailash Patil 49'( Passed by Deepak),

Kailash Patil 60'( Scored from Yusa's pass)

MOM : Kailash Patil(ONGC)


JCT win against Mumbai FC at their home match

09.04.2011: JCT   1 - 0   Mumbai FC

JCT: Ajay Singh 13'

MOM : Ajay Singh ( JCT)

JCT: Naveen, Amarawant, Omoloza, Rahul, Daljit, Jagpreet, Amandeep, Narinder, Maninder, Ajay, Gurtej.

MFC: Nidhinlal, Goutam, Nicholas, Quao, Dane, Siddiqui, Nihal, Kuttimani, Abhishek, Henry, Sukore,