The East Bengal Club centenary celebration began, City of Joy turning into Red-Yellow.

The establishment of East Bengal Football Club has a very sensitive connection with the pre-independent socio-ethenic culture of the Bengal territory. East Bengal FC is one of India’s most historic football club. It is the only Indian club to have 3 international trophies to its name. There are a few clubs in the country which have rich heritage and history such as Kolkata’s East Bengal FC. It has witnessed enormous success as a football team in the nation as well as around the globe. East Bengal has entered the hundredth year of their existence in 2019.

East Bengal has marked a century of its existence in the football arena and one of the most decorated clubs of India. 

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The birth of the “Bangal raag”

At the core of the club is the principle of anger or “Bangal raag”, as they call it colloquially. Rage-the core, perhaps of any rebellion- runs through the vein of FC East Bengal. In fact the East Bengal was born out of a fit of rage against injustice.

In 1920, Jorabagan Club vice-president Suresh Chandra Chaudhury, an eminent industrialist of that time, stormed out of the club when his pick and star player Sailesh Bose was dropped from a Coochbehar Cup game against Mohun Bagan. After three days later, they decided to form a club of their own, duly named East Bengal.

In 1924, they have won the second division then they thought they would have got an automatic promotion to the premier division of CFL, but a rule by the British-run IFA allowed only two Indian teams to take part in the top tier of the league. Mohun Bagan and Aryans used to enjoy the privilege at that time. The Maharaja of Santosh used his social standing and administrative acumen to force a change in the rule and subsequently an approval from the IFA governing body, thus paving the way for East Bengal’s elevation to the top league. And they celebrated the occasion by beating Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the first-ever derby between the two sides in the league.

The growing divide between Bangals (those hailing from East Bengal) and Ghotis (those hailing from West Bengal) found a permanent platform and changed Bengali life forever.

From the roaring 70s to modern-day..

Bengal endured one of the biggest flows of forced migration in the history of humanity twice — during Independence in 1947 and at the time of Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971 altering the social and economic mosaic of the state. These people found in East Bengal football club not only a lost name and a lost identity but also a platform for rediscovering themselves. On both occasions, East Bengal’s rise as the face of Indian Football. The English Football Association’s annual almanac of 1951-1952 described East Bengal as the “best club in India” as Europe, the hub of international football, took note of the red-and-golds’ sensational heroics. East Bengal’s domination in the 70s followed a similar script. The red-and-gold brigade was in a record-breaking spree, lifting the Calcutta Football League crown six times in a row from 1970 to 1975 and completing the famous ‘treble’ at that time in a single season by winning the IFA Shield, Durand Cup and Rovers Cup in 1972. Their reign reached its zenith when they demolished Mohun Bagan in the 1975 IFA Shield final. Since this time period, the standards have fallen but the East Bengal club still remains a successful club in modern era. They won many national titles in the history of football like Federation cup, Asean Cup, CFL, NFL and also qualify for Semi-finals of AFC Cup. East Bengal fans still remain one of the most loyal and fiercely supportive groups, who are also extremely proud of their rich culture and heritage. East Bengal has entered the hundredth year of their existence in 2019 and the celebrations have began in full flow amidst the fans.

Landmark Achievements

i. Defeat Chinese Olympic team in 1948, become first Indian team to beat a foreign team on home soil.
ii. First Indian team to win IFA Shield three years in a row (1949-51)
iii. First Indian team to tour Europe in 1953
iv. First Indian team to win IFA Shield, defeating a foreign team in the final
v. Won CFL 6 years in a row from 1970-75, after that 2010-2017 this time they won CFL 8 years in a row.
vi. The trophies won were CFL, IFA Shield, Bordoloi Trophy, Durand Cup, Rovers Cup.
vii. Only team to win National Football League (NFL) titles in back-to-back seasons, when they achieve the feat in 2002-’03 and 2003-’04. However, East Bengal — who also won NFL in the 2000-2001 season, are yet to win the country’s top league when it was renamed I-league in 2007-2008
viii. Win Asean Club Championship.
ix. Only Indian team to qualify for the semifinals of AFC Cup with an unbeaten record.