Four titles in seven months, success of Kolkata’s ‘Big Three’ will have huge impact: AIFF president

Kolkata, Apr 16 (PTI) The success of Kolkata’s ‘Big Three’ — Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting — will not just have a massive impact on state football but will also have a positive effect on the sport in the country, said All India Football Federation president Kalyan Chaubey on Tuesday.

Seven months, four titles, and the ‘Mecca of Indian football’ was celebrating after Mohun Bagan’s maiden League Winners Shield triumph following their 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC at the packed Salt Lake Stadium here on Monday.

“Bringing home the ISL Shield, I-League Trophy, Super Cup and Durand Cup to West Bengal is a sign of new-age football in the state, and adaptability of these clubs to the newer norms of football,” Chaubey told PTI.

“The three giants of Kolkata enjoy enormous fan support in West Bengal, India and globally. I’m sure the success of MB and EB, along with Mohammedan Sporting joining the two in ISL next season, will have a massive impact on Indian football.” It all began with Mohun Bagan starting the season with their first Durand Cup title in 23 years, defeating arch-rivals East Bengal 1-0 on September 3 last year.

East Bengal made amends to win the Super Cup, beating Odisha FC 3-2 in Bhubaneswar on January 29. It marked the end of their 12-year trophy drought.

Having faced multiple relegation, Mohammedan Sporting came back from oblivion to defeat Shillong Lajong FC 2-1 earlier this month to win the I-League with a round to spare and confirm their promotion to ISL.

Mohun Bagan then went on to lift the ISL Shield in front of a record 61,000-plus home crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium.

The Green and Maroon brigade will now aim to finish season by lifting the ISL Trophy, which would be a ‘High Five’ for the Maidan ‘Big Three’.

Mohun Bagan is the oldest club in India, having been established in 1889, while Mohammedan Sporting came into existence two years later in 1891. East Bengal (established in 1920) also recently celebrated their centenary year.

“They are the ‘Big Three’ of Kolkata football. With historic milestones and to have ruled Indian football for decades, the three have centuries-old football culture and I’m just glad that they have all come around once again to help the city earn the bragging rights,” he said.

“It’s a remarkable year for Kolkata football to bring home four titles this season.” “Millions of football fans, having their loyalties to these Big Three, have joined in to reverberate Kolkata’s legacy,” he added.

Source: PTI News


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