2009 - DECEMBER NEWS         

2010 Homeless World Cup World Rankings Announced

14.12.2009 :: Ukraine, Portugal and Brazil take the top 3 positions in rankings of 66 nations as preparations for Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup commence.

Today the Homeless World Cup, the world-class, international, football tournament changing the lives of homeless people, has announced the official world rankings for 2010 as preparations get underway for the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup. Copacabana Beach, Rio, Brazil is the setting that will unite 64 national teams of homeless players in mid September next year.

Ukraine is ranked number one in the world after their win at the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup in September coincides with consistently high performances at previous tournaments. Ukraine is now the team to beat in Brazil, closely followed by Portugal and Brazil, who will be dangerous in Rio in front of their home crowd, in second and third.

Despite falling 4 rankings Scotland in 6 still outranks England in 10 with the third home nation, Wales, coming in at 36. The biggest climbers are Kyrgyzstan rising 23 places to 35 and Chile rising 19 places to 20 after they picked up the Dignitary Cup at the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup and have stepped up year on year.

Mel Young, President, Homeless World Cup said: “After seven Homeless World Cup tournaments nations are settling down into the street soccer format and a pattern is emerging with a number of nations consistently in the top ten. Ukraine has always performed and is now the nation to beat in Brazil in September.

“It is not all about rankings. It is also about participation of the world’s nations to create powerful change to end homelessness and enjoy some good fun. The tremendous spirit brought by teams like Philippines, Spain, Belgium and Japan is what makes the Homeless World Cup beautiful and unlike any other football tournament in the world. “

Every year the Homeless World Cup unites teams of homeless players from all 5 continents of the world. The Homeless World Cup has grown from 18 nations at the first Graz 2003 Homeless World Cup to 64 at the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup in September next year, which includes a Women’s Cup. Nearly 100,000 homeless men and women, have benefited since the begining and there are now grass roots football programmes working with homeless people all year round in over 70 nations

Research demonstrates over 70% of players experience a significant life change – they come off drugs, alcohol, improve their health and self esteem, repair relationships, get jobs, homes, education, training, become football players, coaches and social entrepreneurs.

The full Homeless World Cup World Rankings are available here.

1-Ukraine, 2-Portugal, 3-Brazil, 4-Poland, 5-Nigeria, 6-Scotland, 7-Ghana, 8-Ireland, 9-Russia, 10-England, 11-France, 12-Mexico, 13-Lithuania, 14-Netherlands, 15-South Africa, 16-Italy, 17-Germany, 18-Austria, 19-Hungary, 20-Chile, 21-USA, 22-Argentina, 23-Romania, 24-Greece, 25-Kenya, 26-Liberia, 27-Malawi, 28-Afghanistan, 29-Denmark, 30-Cameroon, 31-Norway, 32-Czech Republic, 33-Canada , 34-Phillipines, 35-Kyrgyzstan, 36-Wales, 37-Australia, 38-Namibia, 39-Sweden, 40-Zimbabwe, 41-Luxembourg, 42-Kazakhstan, 43 - India , 44-Liberia, 45-Switzerland, 46-Cameroon, 47-Hong Kong, 48-Ethiopia, 49-Spain, 50-Zambia, 51-Rwanda, 52-Cambodia, 53-Belgium , 54-Serbia, 55-Timor Leste, 56-Slovakia, 57-Burundi, 58-Sierra Leone, 59-Japan , 60-Croatia, 61-Uganda, 62-New Zealand, 63-Slovenia, 64-Estonia 65-Paraguay 66-Ivory Coast


13.12.2009 :: FPAI (Football player association of India) organized an award ceremony today in Taj Bengal Hotel, Kolkata. The winners in various categories are as follows:

Best Coach: David Booth(Mahindra United), he received the award from Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty & Vece Paes (Ex-Olympian Hockey Star).

Best Player (Fans Choice): Sunil Chhetri (Dempo S.C), he received the award from ExNigerian Star in KolataFootball Cheema Okorie and Subhash Bhowmick.

Best Foreign Player - Odafe Okolie (Churchill Brothers), he received the award from Badru Banerjee and P. K. Banerjee.

Best Indian player - Sunil Chhetri (Dempo S.C), Sailen Manna gave him the award.

Best Young Player - Baljit Singh Sahni(JCT), Biswajit Bhattacharya gave him the award.

The idea of giving awards by FPAI in various categories was very good, the concept really needs an applause, but the way the whole thing was handled and after seeing the name of the winners, a lot of questions can be raised. Mohun Bagan and Churchill were the most successful team last year with Mohun Bagan winning 3 and Churchill 2 trophies but in the winner list, we saw no Mohun Bagan player and only 1 Churchill player.

In the best coach category, the nomination list had 3 names, Karim, Booth and Zoran and Devid Booth of Mahindra United got the award. for the last 18 months, Karim Bencharifa has been the most consistent coach of India when Mohun Bagan finished amongst top 2 teams in 6 tournaments, being Champion in 3 and finishing runners up in 3. Many players of the current Indian Senior team and Indian U-23 team has been nurtured by him like Robert, Gourmangi, Rakesh Masih, Manish etc. David Booth won no tournament last year when he was coach of Mumbai FC. Ex-Churchill coach Zoran won I league and Goa league whereas Karim won Federation Cup, Kolkata league and Super Cup. Last year Mohun Bagan met Churchill thrice where Mohun Bagan won twice and Churchill once. So, we feel Karim is the first choice with Zoran being the second, but nowhere David Booth comes in the picture to be the best coach.

In the best player by fans choice, the nominees were Barreto, Odafe, Sunil Chettri, Rakesh Masih and Anthony Perreira and there was another surprise decision when Sunil Chettri got the award. It was most shocking to see Barreto or Odafe not getting the award. It is almost impossible to believe Jose Ramirez Barreto who is so popular among fans (even among fans of other clubs also) not getting this award. Not only for his popularity, but last year Jose Barreto was instrumental in Mohun Bagan's winning 3 trophies along with runners - up in I - League.

In the best foreign player category, there were only 3 nominations, Barreto, Odafe and Junior, though we feel Ranty Martin (12 Goals in I-League)and Beto's name should have been there in the final nomination list. Remember, they performed really well for Dempo who did well in AFC Cup last year. But Odafe perhaps is the deserving winner as best foreign player though Barreto should come as a close second. Odafe consistently scored goals for Churchill and helped them win I league as well as Goa league.

In the best Indian player category, the nomination list had Sunil Chetry, Manju and Anthony Pereira and the winner was Sunil Chettri.The names like Dipak Mandal, Robert Lalthalma, Gourmangi Singh, Rahim Nabi ( Scored 5 goals in I- League last year for East Bengal ) should have been there in the nomination list. Again the same question can be raised, that how come this award does not go to a player of Mohun Bagan or Churchill, who were the two most successful teams of India. Out of the 3 final nominees, N.S. Manju definitely was the most deserving as he played really well and helped Mohun Bagan come back strongly in I league and also win Super Cup.

In the best young player category, the nominees were Baljit Sahni, Subhash Singh (scored 7 goals in I-League) and Rakesh Masih. Again names like Robert and Rowilson of Churchill were missing from the list who were consistent performers last year. None other than Robert deserve this award. Last year Baljit Sahni's team JCT did not perform well in any tournament(Scored 4 goals in I-League). He is scoring goals and performing well only in this year's edition of I league. Subhash Singh was also deserving for this award.

However, we should not forget that this ceremony was indeed an unique one with footballers selecting the winners. FPAI has done few good works in the past and will surely do lot of positive work for footballers and Indian football in general in future. In today's program, from veteran footballers like Sailen Manna, Badru Banerjee, P. K. Banerjee to young players like Sunil Chetry was present.

There was another great announcement made by Baichung Bhutia that FPAI will arrange for insurance for all players. They should be congratulated for this decision.

India U-23 beat Maldives to win SAFF CUP

13.12.2009 :: It was a fine show by the Indians, under Sukhwinder Singh's coaching, India U-23 beat Maldives 3-1 in tie-breaker to win the sixth SAFF Championships at the Bangabandhu stadium in Bangladesh for 5th time.

The victory of India was also a revenge for last years final which Indian senior team lost 0 - 1 in Colombo against Maldives.India won the title of this regional tournament in 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2005 also pocketed $50,000 as this year's winner.

Both the teams failed to score any goal in the regulation and extra times,then the match was decided in the penalty shoot out.Jibon Singh, Denzil Frnco and Subodh Kumar converted their respective spot kicks for Idia while Nirmal fired wide.

On theother hand Only Fazeel Ibrahim of Maldives found the target and Ahmed Thoriq, Makhuthar Naseer and star striker Ali Ashfaq failed to score.Indian goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharyya continued his splendid performance in the tournament and saved two spot kicks to help India win.

Both the teams entered the final of SAAF championship for a second consecutive year after India beat Bangladesh 1-0 and Maldives defeated Sri Lanka 5-1 in the semi finals.

It was also the second time in the year, a goalkeeper starred for India in a final. If it was Subrata Paul who shone in the Nehru Cup triumph earlier in the year, Sunday it was Churchill Brothers’ goalkeeper Arindam’s chance to announce his arrival in the international stage.

FINAL : Dec 13 (FT..): Maldives 0 - 0, 1 - 3 (Pen)   India

INDIA:Arindam, Denzil, Ravanan, Rowilson,Robert, Abranches, Baldeep Jr.(Nirmal Chhetri 115'), Jewel Raja(Subodh Kumar 65'), Jivan Singh, Balwant(Jeje Lalpekhula 100'), Sushil..

Congratulations from team..Hero Arindam Bhattacharyya..Goal Keeper of India U-23.India U-23 Win SAFF Cup Via Tie-Breaker ( 3 - 1 ) Against Maldives National Team..It's a great Day for Indian Football and it seems they have a bright future.

Shot4 :(Maldives): Asfaq - Went out ( 3 - 1)

Shot4 :(India): Subodh Kumar - Gooooalllll ( 3 - 1 )

Shot3 :(Maldives):Naseer Mukhtar - Saved by Arindam ( 2 - 1 )

Shot3 :(India): Nirmal Chhetri- Missed the target ( 2 - 1 )

Shot2 :(Maldives): Ahmed Thorik - Saved by Arindam ( 2 - 1)

Shot2 :(India): Denzil Franco - Gooooalllll ( 2 - 1)

Shot1 :(Maldives): Ibrahim Fazeel - Goal (1 - 1)

Shot1 :(India): Jibon Singh - Gooooalllll ..( 1 - 0 )

EXTRA TIME 30' : End of 2nd half of Extra Time.. Now the winner will be decided by Penalty shoot out.Who will Win? stay.. India U-23 Team fought well against Maldives National Team through out 120 Minutes.

EXTRA TIME 30' :What a miss? It could have been an own goal from India Defence as Asfaq shot hit Indian defender's leg and just goes out side the bar..

EXTRA TIME 29' :Going to be Tie-breaker? Still no score..

EXTRA TIME 28' :Jeevan Singh Corner. Goal line save off Sushil Singh's header.

EXTRA TIME 25' :India player Cnanging.Nirmal Chhetri Came in place of Baldeep Jr.

EXTRA TIME 23' :Brilliant Play by Asfaq of Maldives. Gets past two players but his left footer just goes over the cross bar.

EXTRA TIME 21' :Sushil misses an open net.Cross from left side.. Maldives Keeper fails to collect the ball.. Sushil can't push the ball to the goal..

EXTRA TIME 17' : Jeevan Singh of India missed an opportunity to score.
EXTRA TIME 16' :Arindam excellent saved a powerful close ranger of Maldives player in India Box..Sure goal If he missed it .

EXTRA TIME 15' :End of 1st half of Extra Time.

EXTRA TIME 13' : 2 minutes more to end of Extra Time's first half. Still no score..

EXTRA TIME 9' : Player Change for India.. Jeje came in place of Balwant Singh.India in defensive mode. No pressure from Indian Strikers in Maldive defence.

EXTRA TIME 6' : Corner for Maldives. cleared by Indian Defence

EXTRA TIME 4' : Well saved again by Arindam..

EXTRA TIME 2': Extra time starts..Indian attack well saved by Maldives Keeper.

FT: Full time end.. India 0 - 0 Maldives.Extra time will start soon

91': Arindam again saved a good attack of Maldives.

89': Few minutes to end of full time..

86': Great defending by India. Maldives piling a pressure.

84': Arindam again save an attack of Maldives.

79': Arindiam continues in his good from saved two well attack of Maldives.

76':India get a good Chance.. Sushil Miss the chance.. His header went out..

74':Jeevan Singh slightly injured. now fit .Still no score..

71': Good save by Arindam.

68': corner for India. Cleared by Maldeves defence. Balwant shot from out side box over the bar.

65': Match starts..Throw - in for India.. Subodh Kumar come in place of Jewel Raja.

60':Match stopped.. Two players jumps for a high ball and gets injured after clashing heads,Jewell of India seriously injured after his head hits the ground.. Jewel is being taken in Ambulance towards hospital..Subodh Kumar may came in his place..

55':India well attack.Jeevan header from a right side cross just went away..

54': Long ranger of Baldeep went out.
51': Maldives putting pressure in Indian defence..

47':Free kick for Maldives.cleared by India defence.

HT: It's now time for lemon break.. No score.

45': Referee added one Minute for injury time..

44': Few minutes left to end first half. Still no score.

42': Asfaq brough down by Jeevan Sing.. Free kick of Maldives cleared by Indian defence.

40' : Maldives low cross from right side, Arindam dives left side to collect the ball.

39': Denzil cross from right side but Balwant header lacks space.

37': Long ball to India box. Arindam collects it easily.

35': weak shot of Maldives. goes out.

33' : India defence blocks an left sided attack of Maldives.

30': U-23 Team of India is playing well.

29' : Poor corner of Maldives clears by India defence.

27': Long free-kick by Denzil but referee gives foul against Sushil in Maldives Box..

25': Baldeep Singh is playing with stitch in his forehead..

24' : India gets a corner.. Jeevan Singh corner cleared by defence.

23': Long shot of Gassim, goes over the cross bar.

21' : Another attack by Maldives, Arindam dives to his left and collects the ball

20': Brilliant clearance by Arindam,he comes out of the box and the clear the ball well.

18': Jewel Raja shot from Sushil's pass sails over cross bar.

16': Robert takes free-kick from mid field headed by Balwant goes out.

13':Ball in Maldives area.. Sushil Singh tries to snatch the ball but fails. Baldeep Singh slightly injured.

11':Asfaq of Maldives direct Free-Kick hits wall.

10': Ravanan gets yellow card to foul Maldives player.

7': Maldives attack from right side.. headed out by Ravanan.

4':brilliant pass from midfield to Sushil who dribbles past one player but givs miss pass

3':India get free kick in middle but cleared by Maldives defence..

2': India earns first corner..Abranches takes the impact.

1': Match starts..

FPAI Annual Award Function 2009

13.12.2009 :: Debashis Majumder :On 13th of August 2006 FPAI was officially inaugurated in front of Press and Media, members of FPAI, including Bhaichung Bhutia, Dipak Mandal, Jo Paul Ancheri, N.S. Manju, Mehrajudddin Wadoo, Jose Ramairez Barreto, Dipankar Roy, Manjit Singh, Rennedy Singh, Alvito D'Cunha, Samir Naik, Steven Dias and others, ware present in a five star hotel at Kolkata along with Indian coach Bob Houghton. In this way the journey of FPAI was started.Players' unanimously decided that Mr. Bhaichung Bhutia will be the first President; Dipak Mandal will be the General Secretary and Raman Vigayanan will be the Treasurer

In Association with McDowell’s No. 1 celebration the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) declared the event of organizing an award function on December 13 at Hotel Taj Bengal at Kolkata.

Bhaichung Bhutia; the President of FPAI announced in a press conference that the awards will be given in four categories. The categories are-Best Young Player, Best Indian Player, Best Foreign Player and Best Coach in regard of their performance in the previous season. As the President of the association and a member of decision making body Bhutia keeps himself out of this nomination.

The nominees for the Best Young Players are-Subhas Singh, Rakesh Masih, and Baljit Sahni where as Sunil Chhetri, N.S. Manju and Anthony Pereira get their nominations in Best Indian Player category . Onyeka Okolie Odafe, Jose Ramirez Bareto and Junior Elijah Obagbemiro are selected for the nominees of Best Foreign Player category while three foreigner coaches Karim Bencharifa, David Booth and Zoran Djordjevic are nominated for the award of Best Coach .

All the nominations were chosen by an elite panel of some senior players and the final winners will be decided by the 40 players who will be in Goa for the senior and U-23 probable camps.

Prospects of the Clubs in the Federation Cup 2009

13.12.2009 ::RANA BOSE ::The main competition of the Federation Cup 2009 gets underway from 21st November, 2009. This year the tournament will be held in two cities of the State of Assam, Guwahati and Silchar. This year the tournament will have 16 teams split in 4 groups playing amongst themselves and the winner of each group advancing to the semifinal stage.

The composition of each group is as follows

Group A (Silchar) – Kingfisher East Bengal, JCT, Salgaoncar SC and Viva Kerala

Group B (Guwahati) – McDowell Mohun Bagan, Mahindra United; Chirag United and the winner from the qualifying matches underway in Assam

Group C (Silchar) – Churchill Brothers, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC and the winner from the qualifying matches underway in Mumbai

Group D (Guwahati) – Dempo Sports Club, Air India, Shillong FC and Pune FC

Looking at the composition of the groups it is quite evident that the AIFF has cut out any scope of the final being an all-Kolkata or an all-Goa affair. The two powerhouses of Kolkata, McDowell Mohun Bagan and Kingfisher East Bengal (assuming both end up as respective group winner) will have to battle it out at the semifinal stage and the victorious team will advance to the final to cross sword with a Goan team. Likewise, Churchill Brothers and Dempo Sports Club (assuming they end up as winner of their respective groups) will battle it out in the semifinal and await the winner of the two Kolkata teams.

Last year’s winner and title defender McDowell Mohun Bagan have been pitted in a tough group along with Mahindra United, Chirag United and perhaps Mohammedan Sporting or Cammelia George Telegraph joining in as the qualifier. All first named three teams are equally capable of ending up as group champion considering their performance in the I-League. Many football pundits have termed this as the “Group of Death”. McDowell Mohun Bagan’s coach Karim Bencherifa is quite accustomed to assimilate such pressures and will use all his guiles to see his side through.

Kingfisher East Bengal, running through an unexpected bad patch, national duty call-up and injuries find themselves in a relatively easier group and if the new coach, the Belgian, Philip de Rider and his boys maintain their calm and composure and refrain from doing anything silly should easily top the group. Also, the players of this club must have the required self-belief to do something creditable. The local population of Silchar, mostly migrant Bengalis from erstwhile East Pakistan should be rooting for Kingfisher East Bengal vociferously. However, JCT, Salgaoncar and Viva Kerala have enough strength to upset KEB’s applecart.

Before jumping to any conclusion as to which team will win the title this year it will be prudent to assess the potential of the teams who can make it to the semi-final stage from the four groups. Also, it is to be borne in mind that AIFF has capped the number of foreigners to two. Consequently, each team will be able to field two foreigners, a PIO and an Asian -

1. Churchill Brothers, Goa – Perhaps the most noticeable and successful football club in the country. The side has started the new season with a bang, having one two prestigious knockout tournaments, the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup. Although, they are currently the table-topper in the I-League their game style this year has not been as fluid and charming as it was last year. A side that boasts of Odafa Okolie, Ogba Kalu, Felix Chimawuku, Gouramangi Singh, Robert Lalthalma, Reishangmi Vashum and a few others should surely stand out as clear favorite. Team think tank and their coach Carlos Pahira will have to decide which one of the three foreigners he will bench. Going by their recent success in the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup in all probability it will be Felix Chimawuku who will sit out.

2. McDowell Mohun Bagan, Kolkata – Last year’s Federation Cup winner and the most number of wins in their showcase (13 times) are a much stronger side this year. Having held on to the nucleus they have inducted Edeh Chiddi, the prolific Nigerian from Mahindra United as a replacement for Bhaichung Bhutia who has switched allegiance to Kingfisher East Bengal under acrimonious circumstances. Chiddi has been scoring goals at random and is now the side’s goal machine as is Odafa for Churchill. Mohun Bagan reached the finals of the two knockout tournaments, the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup but eventually lost out to Churchill Brothers. Coach Karim will be in a dilemma to compose his starting line-up as the team has some very competent players in each of the zones, with the ex-India goalie, Sangram Mukherjee and Shilton Pal as his understudy to man the citadel.

In defense, the side boasts of the ever dependable, N. S. Manju, Dipak Mondal, Surkumar Singh, Sheikh Azim, Biswajit Saha and N. Mohanraj. A star-studded midfield comprising of L. James Singh, Manish Mathani, Snehasish Chakraborty, Kalia Kulothungan, Micky Fernandes, Ishfaq Ahmed, Rakesh Masih and the Japanese Seuoka with the striking line of Barreto and Chiddi. Jose Ramirez Barreto joins the side after an injury lay-off and consequently Marcos Periera sits out for this tournament. Unless they perform miserably and exhibit below par performance there is no reason to discount their chances of reaching the final and winning the Federation Cup.

3. Mahindra United – A very strong side this year, boasting of players of the likes of Sushant Mathews, D. Ravanan, Kali Alaudeen, Debabrata Roy, K. Aseem, N. P. Pradeep, K. N. Ajayan, Steven Dias and Mohammad Rafi. The side has two excellent foreigners in Svetozar Mijin and Muritala Ali and a shrewd coach in David Booth. Should be quite a handful for the other teams in their group and it will be a toss-up between them, McDowell Mohun Bagan and Chirag United.

4. Chirag United - Subrata Bhattacharjee, their coach is gifted with excellent game reading ability and has a side that is quite capable of giving a fight to the opposition. Composed mostly of discards from the two big Clubs of Kolkata and a few from other parts of the country, Bhattacharya has groomed the side and has seen them performing creditably thus far. Currently they are second placed in the I-League, a point behind Churchill Brothers. The side boasts of three good Brazilians in Edmilson Pardel, Eduardu Chacon and Joshimar da Silva who can fire up and play consistently well. Subrata Bhattacharjee will be hard pressed to decide which one of the three foreigners he will exclude. In all probability it could be Edmilson Pardel. Also, home grown players of the likes of Sandip Nandy, Lalkamal Bhowmick, Jayanta Sen, Malsamtulunga and Denson Debdas need to play to their full potential. The side is quite capable of giving a run for their money to the other two heavyweights, McDowell Mohun Bagan and Mahindra United.

5. Dempo Sports Club, Goa – This side finished runners-up last year losing to McDowell Mohun Bagan in the final. The team has prolific goal scorers in Ranty Martins, Roberto Silva (Beto), their two foreigners. Besides, Clifford Miranda, Anthony Periera and Joaquim Abranches are excellent play makers. The upfront is also bolstered with the induction of Sunil Chetri from Kingfisher East Bengal and Nascimento Silviera from Churchill Brothers. The midfield has dependable players in Climax Lawrence, Jerry Zirsanga and Nicolau Borges. Also boasting of some very dependable players in the back-four, Dharamjit Singh (from MMB), Anwar Ali (from JCT), John Dias, Peter Carvalho, Samir Naik and Mahesh Gawli. The last two may not be available for the Federation Cup as the duo stand suspended by AIFF for not reporting for national duty on the pretext of being injured. This side is capable of winning the Cup.

6. Kingfisher East Bengal Club, Kolkata – The side, thanks to a big goof-up by their former coach, Subhas Bhowmick are an unsure lot. The Club recruited a few foreigners with much fanfare at the start of the season and tested them out in both the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup. The inglorious exit in the group stage prompted the Club management to discard all of them and Bhowmick without much hesitation.

As such, the side started off the I-League campaign disastrously and dropped points at random. They have a side playing much below par except for their Ghanaian forward, Yusif Yakubu and to a certain extent, the Mumbai FC discard, Abel Hammond. Quite a few of their players, including Bhaichung Bhutia, Rahim Nabi and Renedy Singh are currently in the India camp. Bhutia and Yakubu should be teaming up upfront to add some semblance of strength to the side. The team has a very mediocre back four and midfield and this could cause problems for their new coach like his predecessor. However, the supporters of the club will be looking forward eagerly to see the players make a major turnaround and giving a good account of themselves.

Not much is expected from the other teams of the four groups, such as, JCT, Salgaoncar SC, Viva Kerala, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC, Air India, Shillong FC and Pune FC. Their recent performance in the I-League and their strength on paper do not warrant serious consideration. Also they lack the requisite firepower in them to make much headway beyond the group stage. However, football is a very fascinating game where there are days when the underdogs have come out victors.

Malady in Chinese football
a lesson for Indian football administrators

13.12.2009 :: RANA BOSE :: Chinese soccer is back in the headlines and again for the wrong reasons. In spite of having conquered every sport played the world over, China's performance in football has been a source of shame for its fans for years, with the national team dangling between Cuba and Albania to be currently ranked 97th in the world. There are large-scale reports of corruption, match fixing and illegal betting which has poisoned their professional league and Chinese football overwhelmingly. As a result fans and players at every level of the game have abandoned it in disgust.

The authorities are so perturbed about the situation of the game in China that the Chinese President Hu Jintao had to step into the fray and allow their Politburo member Liu Yan Dong to say publicly that China's top leader is very concerned about the state of the game in the country. Following the response, the police have arrested 16 players, coaches, and minor officials accused of match-fixing and betting scams. However, knowledgeable sports columnists are sceptical about the efforts. To solve the soccer problem in China there has to be the rule of law and an independent judiciary. Chinese leaders seem quite serious about fixing this, but there is no way they can under the present regime and constitutional limitations.

Consequent to the malady, China failed to book a berth in the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa, and they are not even one of the top ten teams in Asia. The latest scourge to afflict the country's scandal-ridden game is soccer betting, a furtive activity that has stalked the sport for long before it was put under the spotlight.

In a bid to cleanse football of this chronic malady, China's Ministry of Public Security is spearheading a nationwide campaign against illegal soccer gambling. So far this crusade has yielded a few victories of sorts, with several suspects being held and interrogated for their alleged roles in the racket. But as the probe widens and more disturbing information comes to light, a question looms large - is Chinese soccer rotten to the point where a shock therapy is what it takes to pluck it from the cesspool of corruption and depravity? The answer may prove to be mixed. A series of sweeping initiatives have been waged in the past to eradicate soccer betting. But enforcement was somehow lax.

The reason that some players resort to match fixing is basically two-fold. Firstly, offenders are often from cash-strapped families and underdog squads. Having no other recourse, they are coerced into making Faustian pacts where they sell their souls to the devil (sleaze money). After they indulge and dabble in this activity for a continued period of time, the initial fear and sense of guilt gradually evaporate as the insatiable appetite for more "windfall" profits gets the upper hand in their conscience.

Secondly, the problem is also rooted in the country's flawed soccer system. As the sport's governing body, the Chinese Football Association has done little more than paying lip service to encourage fair play. Clubs have also failed in this regard. While European clubs give much importance to the footballers' ethical cultivation, their Chinese counterparts emphasize the perfecting of skills rather than sportsmanship. This time around, the authorities seem at last to demonstrate some resolve in tackling the problem.

The arrest in the city of Qingdao of veteran player Leng Bo, who was once a celebrated mid-fielder in a top-flight Shandong team, came as a bombshell that sent shockwaves throughout the Chinese football fraternity. Leng retired as assistant coach from a second-division Qingdao club in 2006 and became a fervent soccer punter and well-informed tipster. Under his influence, younger players were enticed into signing murky deals in exchange for easy money, the newspaper reported.

While Leng's likes are not rare in Chinese football, the most ignominious title of soccer scoundrel unmistakably belongs to a man named Wang Po. Former general manager of Shaanxi Guoli Football Club, Wang was seen as a white knight who was expected to guide the club through its financial difficulty when he took over in 2003. However, Wang was better at pulling shenanigans than shrewd management. After he edged out the team's Brazilian coach, he allegedly forced his players to execute his plan, the sports news portal Titan reported on November 16. Now Wang has also been detained, his modus operandi and that of his tribe in manipulating matches has become widely known to all.

As Titan revealed, the usual way for them was to rig a game by buying off two pivotal players, the goalkeeper and one of the forward players and have them carry out a premeditated plan. But sometimes plans did go sour. For instance, if defenders and goalkeeper get paid for unfair play and the forward is withheld his share of the bounty, the forward might try to score as many goals as he can to undo the "efforts" made by his scheming teammates. Admittedly, soccer betting is not only endemic in China. It is a by-product of worldwide passion for a sport that is affectionately nicknamed the "beautiful game." But it is here that the problem has generated a worrisome number of headlines.

The above highlights a Chinese malady. Indian football is also to a certain extent affected by a problem of a different kind. Here, scheming club and association officials sometime vie with each other to play connived matches to retain their stranglehold with the Clubs and the various Associations. Another malice, which is seriously affecting Indian football, is the large-scale irregularity in “age-group” football where scheming officials of various state associations indulge in including over-age players in their line-up, win by unfair means and thereby regain their clout in the Associations or Clubs.

The All India Football Federation has now understood the seriousness of this deep-rooted menace and has decided to take strict action against over-age players and associations. The AIFF has written to all the state teams and associations that henceforth for any age-group tournaments they will have to strictly adhere to the prescribed age limit. Also, the AIFF will carry out random MRI checks on players suspected to be overage by their accredited doctors. This should serve as a deterrent to large-scale malpractices often resorted to by a section of officials in Indian football.

Unfortunately, in India football is not as popular in this country as it is in China and therefore the can of worms still remains unopened. The day Indian football becomes as popular as the game of cricket there could be a large-scale exposure of the malady in football administration and management in this country. There is immense football talent hidden in this vast country waiting to be tapped. The problem is that the ministers and officials so far have not done much to improve sports, including football. Whatever success and accolade a sports person has earned at the international level has been through his or her individual talent and perseverance. The ministers and officials have only attended the post-success photo sessions and felicitations.

India-Maldives face off in SAFF Cup Final

12.12.2009 :: S.Mitra :: Tomorrow India will meet Maldives in the final of the SAAF Cup at Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhakka. The last time these two teams met in a final was in the last edition of SAAF Cup when Maldives emerged winners defeating India 1-0.

India has brought their U-23 team for this tournament whereas other countries played with their senior national team. Considering this fact, credit should be given to Sukhbinder Singh's team for the way they reached finals, though tomorrow Maldives will start as favorites. In the group league match where they met, Maldives won 2-0.

In semi final, India beat Bangladesh by a solitary goal and Maldives thumped Sri Lanka 5-1.

Maldives, however, will miss their key player Fazeel Ibrahim, who struck twice against Sri Lanka, due to injury and it will be a big blow for Maldives.

From India standpoint, goalkeeper Arindam is in very good form and defence has also been rock solid and has conceded only 2 goals in 4 matches.

Indian coach Sukhvinder Singh said: "Though we lost to Maldives in the group league, but tomorrow's final will be a different match and we will give our best and will try to win the match."

India have scored 3 goals in 4 matches while Maldives netted 11 goals.

Today India had 1 hour light practice session in Abahani Krirachakra ground. There might be one change in the team, Balwant Singh might replace Jeje Lalpekhula.

Goalkeeper coach of India u-23 Tanumoy Basu, said to us over Telephone that, "Team is inspired and fit and ready for tomorrow's final. We will try our best to lift SAAF Cup."

AIFF Secretary Alberto Colaco and Vice President Subrata Dutta will be present in tomorrow's final alongwith other AFC and AIFF high officials.


India   2 – 2   Maldives (1997, Group stage)

India   5 – 1   Maldives (1997, Final)

India   2 – 1   Maldives (1999,Semi Final)

India   1 – 0   Maldives (2005, Semi Final)

India   1 – 0   Maldives (2008, Group stage)

India   0 – 1   Maldives (2008, Final)

India   0 – 2   Maldives (2009, Group stage)

Probable Eleven tomorrow (INDIA)
Arindam(GOAL), Robert Lalthalma, D.Ravanan, Rowilson Rodriguez, Denzil Franco, Joaquim Abranches, Baldeep Jr, Jewel Raja, Jeevan Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua/Balwant Singh, Sushil Singh.

East Bengal hold Chirag United in Sahara CFL .

12.12.2009 : KF East Bengal   0 - 0   Chirag United  ( YBK / FT.. )

KEB: Priyant, Soumik, Okpara, Poibang, Sanju, Khabra, Mehtab, Mumtaj, Bekhokhei, Riston (Alvito 72'), Saheb Ali.
Chirag United: Somnath, Arnab (Safar 46'), Du, Dhanarajan, Narugopal, Devdas, Jayanta (Basudeb 59'), Soumik, Gouranga Biswas, Joshimar, Parveen Kumar (Lalampuia 80').

Man of the Match: Priyant Singh (East Bengal)


Match ends, final score 0-0.

90+2: From Somnath's long goal kick, Joshimar back heads the ball but Lalampuia nowhere near to take the ball.

90+1: 2 minutes injury time.

90: Dhanrajan plays wall pass with Joshimar, but his low cross goes to Priyant.

89: Alvito long ball towards Sonju, who gets past 1 player but Safar nicely shields the ball.

88: The match is one sided now with Chirag continuously attacking.

87: Chirag makes another move, but nicely cleared by Soumik.

85: Basudeb free kick, Du could not head the ball, an easy chance wasted.

83: East Bengal has not got any chance in the match so far while Chirag got 1 chance when Priyant made 3 back to back saves.

81: Alvito pass to Sonju, his forward pass towards Bekhokhei, but ball goes out of touchline.

80: Lalampuia comes in place of Pravin Kumar.
79: Still 11 minutes plus injury time is left, but already Priyant Singh has been adjudged Man of the Match.

78: Soumik lying injured.

76: Alvito gets past Du, but from his cross, Bekhokhei can't trap the ball properly.

74: Basudeb takes free kick, Du tries to head the ball but it goes to the safe hands of Priyant.

73: Chirag now totally controlling the game but Priyant has so far made a dream debut for East Bengal.

72: Riston who played in forward today did not play well today and he has been replaced by Alvito.

70: Priyanta injured but gets up.

68: Priyant shows brilliant reflex action and saves 3 times consecutively. From Gouranga free kick, Du header saved by Priyant, then Du takes a shot that is saved again by Priyant, then the ball headed by Narugopal, again Priyant leaps up and makes another save.

67: In 2nd half, number of fouls has drastically decreased.

66: Khabra fouls Gouranga, referee shows yellow card to Khabra.

65: Lot of miss passes going on in midfield.

62: Dhanarajan lobbed the ball, Priyant was out of charge, but he nicely gets back and fists the ball out for corner.

60: Gouranga long throw, Priyant clears the ball but he is lying injurd.

59: Jayanta out, Basudeb in.

58: Joshimar for the first time today gets past Okpara but his shot deflects out for corner. From corner, Priyant comes out and fists the ball away. Priyant is playing with confidence. It seems East Bengal has got a good goalkeeper.

57: Like first half, initial part of 2nd half dominated by East Bengal.

56: Priyant dives forward to make a good save, Pravin Kumar tried to get hold of the ball.

55: Jayanta pass to Joshimar, Okpara makes a very good tackle to avert danger.

53: From Sonju's corner, Saheb's shot goes out.

52: Sonju takes a corner, but ball cleared by Dhanarajan for another corner.

50: Okpara covers Joshimar and makes a good clearance, Joshimar today is totally off, being tightly marked by Okpara.

49: Bekhokhei shot hits Du and goes out for corner.

48: Jayanta nicely gets past 2 players but again his final pass lacked direction and Chirag defence has no problem to clear the ball.

47: Gouranga long throw, Priyant fists the ball out.

46: East Bengal kicks off, Chirag has made one change, Safar came in place of Arnab.
Very poor football in first half, neither of the team got any positive chance, at least 7-8 players should have been booked. After referee blows whistle for lemon break, Du comes running towards referee.

45+1: 1 minute injury time.

45: Mumtaz commits a nasty foul on Jayanta, but referee still did not take out the card from his pocket.

44: Jayanta hits EB player with his elbow off the ball, but referee again turns a blind eye.

42: Dhanarajan pass to Pravin who makes a good run, but again gives a poor final pass.

40: Riston injured, Arnab commits a nasty foul on him. Referee today is not strict enough, lot of fouls committed by both teams, but referee has shown only 1 yellow card so far.

39: Poibang tries to dribble past Dhanarajan, but fails to do so.

37: Both teams attacking but neither team got any clear look at goal.

36: Okpara manmarking Joshimar, Chirag gets free kick. Jayanta free kick, Du tries to head the ball but referee gives free kick against Du.

34: Mehtab shot, goes straight to Somnath.

33: Jayanta free kick cleared by Chirag defence.

32: Another incident near EB box, pushing going on between Arnab and Gouranga, suddenly Gouranga falls down.

31: Mehtab tackled by Jayanta, he gets up and retaliates. The match is going out of hand of referee.

29: Narugopal runs with the ball but from edge of the box gives a wrong pass.

28: Mehtab lying injured after he was tackled by Pravin. It is a sure yellow card offence.
26: Mehtab pass to Bekhokhei, but his wrong pass is cleared by Du. Ball comes to Denson who tries to take a shot but nicely blocked by EB defence.

25: From counter attack, Chirag earns a corner when Okpara clears the ball from Joshimar. Corner is fisted away by Priyant.

24: East Bengal gets a free kick, Sonju shot hits wall, goes to Okpara, he gives forward pass to Poibang, but his poor shot goes to Somnath.

21: Narugopal takes a long ranger, ball out of target.

20: Mehtab free kick, ball goes straight to Somnath.

18: Chirag slowly starting to control the game. Narugupal pass to Pravin but his cross headed out by Khabra.

16: Jayanta free kick goes to Du, but he fouls Saheb.

14: East Bengal dominating the proceedings.

12: Mehtab gives pass to Riston, but Du clears the ball.

11: Saheb Ali makes a down the middle run but cleared by Jayanta.

10: Mumtaz long ranger sails over crossbar.

8: Mumtaz shown yellow card, but Du should also have got yellow card, as he was pushing referee with his head.

7: Jayanta long ball for Narugopal,
5: Long ball from defence for Sonju, but Arnab manages to head back the ball to Somnath.

4: Mehtab fouled badly by Gouranga Biswas.

2: East Bengal makes 2 sucessive moves, first Saheb long ball, Poibang cant trap properly. Next Sonju through pass goes straight to Chirag GK.

1: Match starts, Chirag makes the first attack, Bekhokhei clears the ball.


11.12.2009 :: S.Mitra :: Football in Bengal has over the years acquired the status of a passion . Football here is the opium of masses. This love for the game transcends all demographics.

Historically, since the early 20th century, clubs from Bengal have dominated in various Tournaments not only in India but in the sub-continent as well.

The Indian Football Association (I.F.A) established in 1893, 43 years before the birth of All India football Federation(A.I.F.F),governs soccer in West Bengal professionally but till now they had no stadium, which is a shame for an organization which is more than 100 years old and who runs the football show in West Bengal.

Even the three big teams of Kolkata, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting, all has their own grounds, though all of them are controlled by defence, the clubs only maintain the grounds.

From first secretary Mr. A.R.Brown (1893) to last Ex-Secretary of IFA and present Vice President of AIFF and IFA Mr. Subrata Dutta had tried a lot so that IFA can have its own ground, but failed to do so. In 2003 to 2007, as a Hon'y Secretary of IFA, Mr Dutta had held quite a few meetings with ex-Sports Minister, late Subhash Chakraborty, but those meetings were not fruitful. Even Subrata Dutta had talks with current Sports Minister, Kanti Ganguly about taking Kishore Bharati Stadium at Jadavpur, but he did not succeed in this venture.

After this, Subhash Chakraborty arranged for a ground in BD/BC block for IFA though that ground could not have been converted to a stadium, so Subrata Dutta used that ground for nursery training which is still going on there.

Today in Writers Building, in presence of Chief Minister, Buddhadev Bhattacharya and Sports Minister, Kanti Ganguly, State Goverment handed over Rabindra Sarobar Stadium to IFA for 5 years and a MOU was signed. On behalf of IFA, present Secretary Utpal Ganguly and President Satyabrata Ganguly was present in the occasion. IFA will maintain the ground and will be able to organize football matches for the next 5 years in Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. This contract can be renewed after 5 years.

Subrata Dutta congratulated Utpal Ganguly today. Better later than never, football lovers in the city are happy that after 114 years the dream of IFA having its own stadium has come true.

Talking to reporters, Utpal Ganguly said, "I am very happy that at last IFA has its own stadium. We were having talks with State Government for long time. I am grateful to Kanti Ganguly, he has provided a lifeline to Bengal football."

India beat Bangladesh to reach in the SAFF final .

11.12.2009 :: Online Updates

India 1 - 0   Bangladesh (FT)

IND: Sushil Singh 62'

IND:Arindam ,Lalthalma,D.Ravanan,Rowilson,Denzil, Abranches,Baldeep Jr, Jewel Raja,Jeevan Singh,Jeje Lalpekhlua,Sushil Singh

Online Updates

FT: : Match end.. India beat Bangladesh to reach in the SAFF Final..Beside the outstadning perornamance of India Keeper Arindam Bhattacharyya,Indian central midfielder Jewel Raja played excellent. India will face Maldives in the final on 13th.

90'+5': :Again missed by Jaagtar singh..His left footer from a cross from right side saved by Bangladesh Keeper..Match end..

90'+2': :Well attack by India from left..Subodh Kumar to Sushil ..Sushil's shot well saved by Bangladesh Keeper..

90': 5 minutes added by referee..India is leading 1 - 0 ..

88':Free Kick for Bangladesh.. Arindam well saved the shot..

86': Player changed by India. Subodh Kumar came in place of Jeevan Singh and Jagtaar Sing in place of Jeje Lalpekhula..

83':India is leading 1-0..Now throw in for Indian in his own area..counter attack by sushil Singh.. Bangladesh defence cleared the Indian attack.

78':effortless and unplanned attacks by both teams. Bangladesh got a corner..Arindam easy gripped the high ball from the corner..

70':Danger in India Box..a Bangladesh left sided cross went away just over the cross bar.

66':Jeje solo run from right side.. sudden powerful punch.. went away.. India is leading 1-0.

62':Jwell Raja passed well to Jeje.but Bangladesh defender fouled Jeje..Free Kick just out side the Penalty Box..GOALLLLLLLL Robert passed the ball to Sushil Singh and sushil fired the ball to the corner of the net.

55':Arindam Well saved a BANGLADESH attack..

53':India got a free Kick..Robert shot deflected from Bangladesh defence wall..No damage done..

51': Good header by other Indian players in BANGLADESH Box to follow the ball..

47': 2nd Half Started..Well attack of Bangladesh..Arindam saved the attack through a corner..No impact in Bangladesh corner kick..

HT: End of First Half..India 0 - 0 Bangladesh in the SEMI FINAL of SAFF CUP match at Dhaka..

45': 2 Minute added by referee.. Abranches well cleared a Bangladesh attack in India Box..

43':Arindam saved a Bangladesh attack from left side..well attack ..a close range shot went away over the bar..

35':Raja to Abranches in right side..Abranches crossed the ball.. Jeevan Singh's well header saved by Bangladesh Keeper..

33': Still no score in the match.India defence cleared a Bangladesh left sided attack..
29':India got a free Kick just out side the box.. Bangladesh defender fouled Sushil Singh..Lalthalma shot well saved by Keeper..

24':Free Kick for India..Bangladesh player fouled Sushil Singh.. No impact..

21':Arindam saved an effort of Bangldesh..counter attack by India..

19': India missed a chance.. Jeje's heaer missed the target for a slight off a Lalthalma Free Kick from right side..

18': Long throw-in of Denzil Franco cleared by Bangladesh Defence..

13':Well crossed from Abranches in Bangladesh box..Header by Sushil Singh but all went Direct to Bangladesh Keeper's hand.

10':Bangladesh attacked from left.. Crossed the ball but aimless it was..Goal Kick for India..Kicked by keeper Arindam..

8': Sushil Singh of India good effort..collected a miss pass from Bangladesh defence. .his right footer went away over the bar..

Mohun Bagan win against Mohammedan AC in CFL .

11.12.2009 :: Online Updates

M.Mohun Bagan 1 - 0   Mohammedan A.C  ( FT..)
Scorer & M.O.M : Chidi Edeh 86' (MMB)

FT: Match End.. Mohun Bagan win 1 - 0 against Mohammedan A.C.. Chidi declared Man of the Match..

90': Referee added 4 minutes more.Bagan again in attacking mode.

86': GOALLLLLLLL: Chidi Scored for Mohun Bagan This is his 7th Goal in CFL...Raju Ekka wanted to block Seuoka's close ranger..but ball deflected from his hand.. Chidi scored ..

82':Player change of Bagan.. Souvik Chakrabarty out.. Subhojit Majumdar came in his place..

79':Mohun Bagan vs Raju Ekka? Again well saved by him a header of Chidi off Snehasish Free Kick.

76': Omoloza of MAC out and defender Tanay Sarkar came in his place..

74': Agains chance missed by Bagan.. Branco header just went away ..Snehasish well cross from left..

71':Mohammedan A.C Keeper Raju Ekka played very well today..He is still unbeated by Bagan Strikers..

70': Free Kick of Bagan Just outside the Box..Seuoka's shot cleared by MAC defence..Again attack by Bagan..Well crossed by Tomba..Chidi's header went away..

68':Buddha Maity cleared well an effort of Souvik of Bagan..

64': Player Change of Bagan.. Branco came in place of Isfaq and Snehasish Chakrabarty in place of Subh Kumar..

62':Still Bagan strikers are unable to beat tight MAC defence.. Isfaq crossed from left.. no Bagan players in the Box..

59': Chance missed by Chidi..Seuoka took a free Kick..Chidi's well header well taken by Raju Ekka..

55':Free kick for Bagan..Raju Koley fouled Isfaq..Seuoka Took the shot..Isfaq's header went away..

54': Chidi well passed to Seuoka..but MAC Keeper Raju Ekka dived to collect the ball well.

52':Chidi tried to enter from right flank..MAC defence cleared ..corner for Bagan..No impact in Subho Kumar's corner..

48': well saved by Raju ekka..Isfaq's close range left footer save by Raju of MAC.

46': 2n half started..Free Kick for Bagan,,Seuoka Kick cleared by MAC defence..

HT: End of First half..Mohun Bagan 0 - 0 Mohammedan A.C

45'+2': Sk.Azim cleared MAC attack..Counter attack..Bagan got a damage done..

45': Referee added 2 minutes..Long pass from Zenith to Seuoka.. But Seuoka offside..

43': Yellow card to Bagan's Souvik who fouled Buddha Maity of MAC..

42':Few minutes left to end of the first half..still no score..huge missed pass by Bagan players..

40': Isfaq's left sided cross..Tapan Giri clared through corner..Corner taken by Subho Kumar..Chidi's header hitted the bar..

37':Still no score yet.MAC defence played well.Counter attack by MAC..Omoloza' effort blocked by Azim..

33':Free Kick for MAC..Omoloza passed to Raju Koley..Crossed ..Direct to Shilton's hand..

30':Corner for Bagan..Subho Kumar took the corner..well corner.. Sueoka's header.Chance missed ..Ball hitted the cross bar..2nd attempt by Azim..Ball went away..

27':Souvik of Bagan fouled by Tapan Giri of MAC..Free Kick..Taken by Subho Kumar..Well Kick..Chidi's header went away..

24':Zenith passed towards Souvik in right flank..MAC dcefence cleared

22':Aimless passed by Isfaq..goal kick for MAC

19':well saved by Raju ekka..Crossed from Biswajit from left side, Sagram Mandi's header well saved by MAC Keeper.

11': Bagan is playing small passed..Well attack by Zenith from right..passed to Chidi..Prasanta Sarkar of MAC cleared well

8': Biswajit crossed from left..MAC Defence cleard before reaching Chidi on the spot..

6':Tapan Giri fouled Souvik..Free Kick..Zenith kicked ..cleared by MAC defence..

4': Counter attack..Corner for Bagan.cleared by MAC defence

3':long shot of Omoloza..Bagan keeper Shilton gripped

2': Match started. Throw in for MMB.Biswajit Saha passed to Isfaq..too long..

0':Full House Mohun Bagan Ground.Mini Derby between Mohun Bagan And Mohammedan A.C will start soon.

M.Mohun Bagan :Shilton, Zenith, Azim, Sagram, Biswajit, Tomba, Subho kumar(Snehasish),Souvik (Subhojit),Isfaq(Branco),Chidi,Sueoka.

Mohmmedan A.C:Raju Ekka,Raju Koley,Tapan Giri,Subhankar Nag,Prasanta Sarkar,Buddha Maity,Surabuddin,Md.Yasin,Omoloza, Sk.Sahnwaz,O.Saeedi

Other Match

11.12.2009 : Eatern Railway 2 - 0   Cal.Customs  (FT)
ER : Bikash Narginary 24', Joydeep Bose 89'

2009 FIFA Club World Cup FIFA Club World Cup.

10.12.2009 :: 2009 FIFA Club World Cup FIFA Club World Cup

VENUE : United Arab Emirates 2009

Previous Winner

2000  :  Corinthians Brazil  : 0 – 0,(4 – 3 pen)    Vasco Da ga Ma Brazil

2005  : Sao Paulo Brazil : 1 – 0     Liverpool ,England

2006  : Internacional, Brazil  : 1 – 0   :  Barcelona, Spain

2007  : A.C.Milan, Italy : 4 – 2     Boca Juniors, Argentina

2008  : Manchester United England  : 1 – 0     LDU Quito Ecuador

Qualified teams 6th edition of 2009 FIFA Club World Cup has started atn Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Team Confederation Qualification
Spain( Barcelona) UEFA Winners of the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League
Estudiantes (Argentina) CONMEBOL Winners of the 2009 Copa Libertadores
Atlante (Mexico) CONCACAF Winners of the 2008–09 CONCACAF Champions League
Pohang Steelers(South Korea) AFC Winners of the 2009 AFC Champions League
TP Mazembe(Congo) CAF Winners of the 2009 CAF Champions League
Al-Ahli(UAE) Host Winners of the 2008–09 UAE Premier League
Auckland City (New Zealand) OFC Winners of the 2008–09 OFC Champions League

Play-off for Quarter- finals

9 December 2009  :  Al-Ahli   0 – 2   Auckland City
AC:Dickinson 45', Coombes 67'


11 December 2009 (Match 2)  :  TP Mazembe   VS   Pohang Steelers

12 December 2009 (Match 3)  :  Auckland City   VS   Atlante

15 December 2009 (Match 4) :  Winners of Match 2   VS   Estudiantes

16 December 2009 (Match 5) :  Winners of Match 3   VS   Barcelona

Match of 5th Place

16 December 2009 (Match 6)  :  Losers of Match 2   VS   Losers of Match 3

3rd/4th Place

19 December 2009 (Match 7)  :  Losers of Match 4 ?   VS   ? Losers of Match 5


19 December 2009 (Match 8)  :  Winners of Match 4 ?   VS   ? Winners of Match 5

Kolkata Football, Akashbani & Bengali Nostalgia.

10.12.2009 :: Running commentary of games started from Kolkata Radio within a few years after its inception. The first running commentary of a football match was made in 1930 by a British footballer, Mr Gold, of Calcutta Football Club. It was quite a renowned club in Calcutta Maidan then and Mr Gold was a centre forward of the team. This running commentary, obviously made in English, was a programme of Calcutta Radio Station and was limited to Calcutta and undivided Bengal province. In fact this was the first station to organise live running commentary of games1. An important commentator of that period was Mr Bartimayar.

Running commentary in Bengali also commenced in this decade and through a funny incident. It was 1934 and the match was between Mohun bagan Athletic Club and Calcutta Football Club. The gallery was completely filled with Indian and European spectators supporting their respective clubs. The commentators of Calcutta Radio Station were sitting above the Europeans. A chart of the football ground was printed in Betarjagat and the commentators gave the description of the game accordingly. This would help the spectators to visualise the movement of the players across the ground. The running commentary would be in Bengali.

Now, who would be the commentators from Calcutta Radio Station? Sri Rajen Sen was on leave. There were only Sri Raichand Boral and Sri Birendrakrishna Bhadra, the two program directors. Sri Boral was a renowned music directors and Sri Bhadra was a well-known theatre personality. Sri Boral was a sports lover whereas Sri Bhadra, who was though a good orator, had little idea about football.

Birendrakrishna Bhadra started the running commentary by saying “Good Afternoon! We are coming to you live from Calcutta Football Club ground. Today there will be a running commentary, sorry match between Mohan Bagan and Calcutta Club. Rai, why don’t you tell me the names of the players?”

Sri Rai Chand Boral started reciting the names and Sri Bhadra repeated the same. The spectators around were getting irritated. Who would enjoy if somebody keeps on relentlessly chatting beside him or her? However the commentary went on peacefully. But the problem started immediately after that.

Sri Bhadra kept on mixing the names, without even realising, though Sri Boral poked him now and then to rectify the wrongs.

Sri Boral commented “Why are you making the mistakes?”

In reply, Sri Bhadra would comment covering the microphone with his hand, “Okay, I am handing over the microphone to you, why don’t you make the corrections.”

Pacifying him Sri Boral said, “From now onwards don’t make the same mistake.”

Sri Bhadra again started his running commentary, “Gentlemen, the field is very crowded, the ball is being kicked around from one end to the other, the goalkeeper of Calcutta Club wearing jersey no 6 has shot the ball which is received by Jersey no. 9 of Mohan Bagan club…..”

At this point Sri Boral tried to rectify Sri Bhadra by telling him “the player who had shot the ball for Calcutta club is not there goalkeeper, he is the Centre Forward.”

Sri Bhadra tried to rectify immediately, “Pardon me the Calcutta Club player who had taken the shot was not the goalkeeper but their Centre Forward.”

In the mean time, 4 – 5 players of Calcutta Club had moved forward with the ball and Balai Chatterjee of Mohan Bagan came forward to defend his goal. In the process there was an infringement. Sri Bhadra continued the commentary saying “referee has blown the whistle as there has been a foul by player no 7….

“Rai, who has taken the shot?”

Raichand – “Centre Forward.”

Birendrakrishna – “ Centre Forward shot the ball…it’s a…. it just kissed the bar and went away… there is tremendous commotion in the stands, Mohan Bagan would have conceded a goal, the game has started again.”

The whites were furious; they started hurling abuses at the commentators. A lady, who was sitting quietly so far got irritated and said – “Please speak softly.”

Sri Bhadra very casually replied “All right” and continued with his running commentary. The first half ended. A senior official came rushing and said – “Don’t shout Sri Bhadra.” Sri Bhadra replied, “Sir if I speak softly, the people manning the control room will ask me to speak loudly otherwise the listeners cannot understand what I am saying, now tell me what to do.”

The game started again.

Now Sri Bhadra was able to manage show properly. When the ball was near the penalty box he would be speaking loudly on other occasions he was speaking softly.

Sri Boral on the other side was completely engrossed in the game. He was not helping Sri Bhadra at all and whenever Sri Bhadra asked him, “Tell me what is happening!” Sri Boral would ask him to keep quiet. As if the Mohan Bagan players will lose concentration if they hear Sri Bhadra speaking and will unable to score a goal. Sri Bhadra replied “How can I keep quiet. Ten thousand people are waiting on the other side of the radio to hear the live running commentary of the match. Have you forgotten our duty?” Immediately after that Sri Bhadra shouted on the microphone “Handball.” On hearing it the spectators including Sri Boral started laughing. Sri Bhadra realised that he must have made a blunder. He asked Sri Boral – “What has happened Rai?”

Raichand – “You have made a blunder. When a goalkeeper handles the ball it is not an infringement!”

Sri Bhadra replied - “This is not fair.”

Sri Boral said “We will convey your proposal to the football association, now please stop.”2

This is how, in the year 1934, live running commentary of football matches in Bengali was started experimentally. However hilarious the incident may be, it’s evident that the quality of running commentary was not up to the mark. But this attempt to start running commentary in Bengali was the most important thing. However, most probably due to various faults the commentary in Bengali was stopped for the time being.

After independence, Calcutta Radio Station used to regularly air live commentaries of games. But those were in English. They also used to air live commentaries of the games played abroad, but with fluctuating audio level.3 Transistors were not in vogue when commentaries became popular. The size of the radios was quite big but only few households possessed one. But interestingly, irrespective of the size, big or medium, almost all the saloons had radios and to increase their customer base the proprietors of the saloons used to place a speaker near the entrance.4 In 1950 Sri Shibdas Bandyopadhyay participated in a talk show, even before Bengali running commentary was started.5

After independence the need to air running commentary in regional languages was being felt. Akashbani officials were pressurised in this regard. It was also suggested that instead of in English only, running commentaries should also be in Bengali and it all started in 1957.6

Running commentaries of football matches started from the football league season of 1957 from the Calcutta Radio Station. The historic match was played between Mohan Bagan and Rajasthan club. Among the few noted personalities who were involved with this project from day one were Late Pushpen Sarkar and Ajoy Basu.7

People were just not ready to believe that running commentary of matches can be made in Bengali. Sri Ajoy Basu wrote in an article, “One such sad memory dates back to an evening of the 1950s, it was this time when running commentary of matches had just started. I was coming down the stairs leaving the commentary box when I suddenly heard a comment, ‘here comes the commentator! What did he say? In which colour saree did you drape the goal, ball and free kick? Can there be a running commentary of a football match in Bengali?’ With complete disgust in his voice the gentleman shouted, ‘what all do we have to bear with?’ I could well understand that all these were meant for me.” But the scenario changed & Bengali running commentary became very popular. We again refer to Mr. Bose’s writing, “I wish to meet that gentleman now. The age old belief of him and every other individual has been proved wrong. Is he going to react the same way hearing Bengali running commentary of matches? Is he still going to make faces?”8

People would gather in front of the radio during the matches of East Bengal, Mohan Bagan or Mohammadan Sporting Club to hear the running commentaries, like people gathering in front of the TV to see a cricket or an important football match today. During those days, in the evening just after the news in Bengali a program on games was aired by Akashbani Delhi. On the other hand, running commentary was becoming popular. Even in the matches in the localities one could hear running commentaries imitating Ajoy Basu, Pushpen Sarkar, or Kamla Bhattacharya. In the seventies these 3 expert commentators participated in a discussion on how to do a running commentary properly. From the discussion it came out that the commentary should be given in such lucid language so that people can visualise the game by hearing the running commentary.9

In this regard, Sri U L Barua has said that running commentary of a match on radio is a lively and immediate description of the ball’s position and the situation in the game. In the other programs one would find talk shows about games, news about the matches played, interviews of eminent sports personalities or experts, etc. But these are all analysis or reports after completion of the match. If you go through the audience research you will see how a vast majority of rural or urban population was attracted towards running commentaries of matches.10

The sports department was created in 1973. Immediately after that they started airing a program called ‘Khelar Jagat’ which was later rechristened as ‘Krirangan’. This program included discussion and speech on a recently played match, interviews of players, answers to interesting letters written by audience and live phone-ins. Letters were written by audience from the districts. Even audience from Dhaka and Chittagong also used to write letters. Sports also used to get due importance in the Sangbad-Bichitra program and Yubabani channel where, in the sixties, the program on promising players was quite popular. Even nowadays, in the FM channel, we find experts from the sporting arena answering questions over telephones.11

‘Khelar Jagat’ is a sports magazine covering variety of topics like how to become a good football player, how to build up your physique, etc.12

Football is a game which is quite close to our heart and courtesy radio it has become a topic of discussion in every household.

In September 1977, an unforgettable event took place in Kolkata, whose detailed depiction helped radio scale new heights. The football legend Pele and his team Cosmos came to play in Kolkata. Radio played a key role in satisfying the appetite of Bengali folks regarding the incidents associated with Pele’s arrival and his stay in Kolkata. Cosmos Club played a match with Mohan Bagan Athletic club at the Eden Gardens which was filled up to its brim. The common thing between the spectators inside the stadium and those outside was the transistor, almost everybody was carrying one to hear the live commentary of the match. Sri Pushpen Sarkar and Sri Sukumar Samajpati were the commentators.13

Sri H. R Luthra wrote, “India organised 9th Asian Games in 1982 (it was held between Nov 19 - Dec 4). In those days television was only owned by the rich people. Live commentary of matches was organised by radio and it was highly praised by the experts & radio companies from the developed world. Not many developed nations were able to organise such live commentaries on radio such professionally then.”14

Sri U.L. Barua has written “Due to the live commentaries of the games of 9th Asian Games on radio, people were treated with entertaining news about the games. People can never disregard the immense contribution of Akashbani in promoting sports in India.”15

In the article by Sri Gautam Bhattacharya on Sri Ajoy Basu, we get a glimpse of the popularity of Bengali running commentary: Sri Ajoy Basu was a few months before he died, was put on a ventilator in a hospital. IFA conferred a written felicitation on him and it was read out to him in his critical condition, which read, “We used to hear Mahishashurmardini being recited by Sri Birendrakrishna Bhadra only once every year, but we used to hear this voice (Sri Ajoy Basu’s) the entire football season. He could create a magic with his words. Even the listener sitting thousands of miles away could visualise the happenings in the field. Your baritone voice is equally well known to the Bengalese like Manna and Hemanta. This write up had an important point – the technical experts had immense faith on Sri Ajoy Basu. We don’t know how the general public will rate Sri Ajoy Basu, may be he won’t be within the first three. But if we consider only Bengal’s football then Sri Ajoy Basu was the most popular individual. I don’t think anybody will be able to come close to it.16

We come to know about the influence of running commentary from an article by Sri Boria Mazumdar on Sri Ajoy Basu – “In those days when there was no television & radio was the only medium to get updates about the matches Sri Ajoy Basu was the best known sports commentator. He was that proverbial pied piper who would mesmerise the listeners through his eloquent running commentary. He was a trendsetter……. Sri Ajoy Basu, who was a witness to the development of cricket and football in Bengal is no longer with us. But, even today when I hear running commentary on TV or Radio, I feel that Sri Ajoy Basu is still very much within us.”17

Sri Moti Nandi’s writing echoes similar views – Sri Ajoy Basu will be remembered by the Bengali people because of his running commentaries on radio. Akashbani Kolkata took initiative to air running commentaries of football matches in the fifties because of Sri Ajoy Basu. It was something novel in Bengal. In the trial, Sri Ajoy Basu got through because of his voice and choice of words. His voice had such a distinctive quality that anybody would recognise it just listening it.18

In an article published in Ananda Bazar Patrika dated 10.02.2004 on Sri Ajoy Basu we get the proof of the popularity of running commentary. Sri Ajoy Basu the commentator surpassed Ajoy Basu the player or reporter in popularity. Sri Ajoy Basu, Pushpen Sarkar and Sri Kamal Bhattatchrya were the three musketeers of Bengali running commentary. Out of these three, Sri Kamal Bhattacharya and Sri Pushpen Sarkar left us much before. With the death of Sri Ajoy Basu, the golden era of Bengali running commentary came to an end.19

Sri Subir Chakraborty has written that in those days there was the live running commentary of the matches played by Mohan Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting only. The listeners remained glued to their radio sets because of the quality of the running commentary by Sri Kamal Bhattatcharya, Sri Pushpen Sarkar and Sri Ajoy Basu. Running commentary in English was made by Pearson Surita and Sri Berry Sarbadhikari.20

Sri Baridbaran Ghosh happens to be a listener of Akashbani for 50 years. Even in his article we find the topic of sports. “Sri Ajoy Basu’s and Sri Kamal Bhattacharya’s voice and speech was no less attractive than the matches played by East Bengal and Mohan Bagan.

From Surajit Dasgupta’s article on Akashbani’s coverage of sports, we find that in those days radio played a key role during the football season. Initially the running commentaries were in English but later Bengali commentary also started. People used to gather outside road side cigarette shops to listen to running commentaries. In those days most of the pan-cigarette shops used to keep the radio on for whole day so that customers could listen to news or running commentary while buying a pan or a cigarette.

According to Sri Abhra Basu, there is no doubt that the popularity of running commentary on radio has decreased these days due to the live telecast of matches on TV. But yet, people residing in cities still find it useful for listening to running commentaries or news while on the move or in office.

So we find that Bengali running commentary started by Sri Birendrakrishna Bhadra is still continuing. People these days depends more on TV to watch live telecast of matches even sometimes browse internet for live updating of local and international football matches , but on television cricket gets more priority over other sports. At Akashbani Kolkata apart from the running commentary we find regular discussions on variety of sports. Experts do participate to give answers to queries raised by listeners apart from giving important suggestions. The other attraction is the interviews of upcoming football players. It inspires the new generation to play football. In the past radio was the constant companion of general mass regarding football. This proves that radio still plays an important role in the field of sports. We have already spoken of the huge popularity of football in radio due to which even advertisers thought of using this medium to advertise their products.

Courtesy: Sushanta Kumar Bhowmik :: Soccer Journal 90 Minutes

The last 16 of UEFA Champions League 2009-10.

10.12.2009 ::Defending Champion Barcelona booked a Champions League 2009 -10 last 16 berth with a 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday and were joined by Group F rivals Inter Milan, who beat Rubin Kazan 2-0 at home. Artem Milevskiy's beautiful header gave Dynamo a second-minute lead but Spain midfielder Xavi equalised it in 30th mimute.UEFA Player of the Year Lionel Messi completed Barca's comeback in the 86th minute, when he gave Dynamo goalkeeper no chance with a curling free kick.

VfB Stuttgart also went through after a 3-1 win over Romanians Unirea Urziceni, while Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus beat Arsenal 1-0 at home and qualified in last 16.Olympique Lyon thrashed Hungarian rivals Debrecen S.C 4-0 but finished second in Group E behind Italian Fiorentina, who secured a 2-1 win against English Premier Giant Liverpool.

Inter Milan beat Russian Rubin Kazan 2 - 0."We have played with an attacking line-up" Inter coach Jose Mourinho told a news conference.Unirea fell behind in the second minute when Ciprian Marica headed Stuttgart into the lead and within next 11 minute Cristian Trasch and Pavel Pogrebnyak made it 3-0 fot Stuttgart.

A Leonardo solo effort after half time gave Olympiakos their Group H win against a second-string EPL star studded team Arsenal while Standard Liege securing third place after a 1-1 home draw against AZ Alkmaar.Sevilla made sure of the top spot in Group G ahead of Stuttgart after a Frederic Kanoute penalty handed them a 1-0 home win over Rangers.

Batefimbi Gomis, Michel Bastos, Miralem Pjanic and Aly Cissokho sent Olmypic Lyon on their way against Debrecen of Hungary.A Yossi Benayoun goal gave Liverpool the lead at Anfield but Italian Fiorentina, who needed a win to finish top of the group scored through Martin Jorgensen and Alberto Gilardino.

The Final sixteen teams of UEFA Champions League. The Draw will be held on 18th December.

  • 1. Arsenal(England)
  • 2. Chelsea(England)
  • 3. Manchester Utd(England)
  • 4. Bordeaux
  • 5. Fiorentina(Italy)
  • 6. Barcelona(Spain)
  • 7. Real Madrid(Spain)
  • 8. Sevilla(Spain)
  • 9. Lyon(France)
  • 10. Olympiacos(Greece)
  • 11. Bayern Munich(Germany)
  • 12. VfB Stuttgart(Germany)
  • 13. AC Milan(Italy)
  • 14. Inter Milan(Italy)
  • 15. FC Porto(Portugal)
  • 16. CSKA Moscow(Russia)
  • RESULTS of 9.12.2009 Matches

    Dynamo Kiev 1 - 2   FC Barcelona

    FC Sevilla 1 - 0   Glasgow Rangers

    Inter Milan 2 - 0   Rubin Kazan

    Liverpool FC 1 - 2   Fiorentina

    Olympiakos Pireus 1 - 0   Arsenal FC

    Olympique Lyonnais 4 - 0   VSC Debreceni

    Standard 1 - 1  AZ Alkmaar

    VfB Stuttgart 3 - 1  Unirea Urziceni

    FIFA Rejects the Idea of Introducing 5 Referees
    in the World Cup 2010.

    9.12.2009 ::Finally after the executive committee meeting FIFA decided not to introduce two additional referees in the World Cup 2010. Because of the hand ball event of Thierry Henry during the World Cup qualifier play off between France and Ireland raised the matter of intruding additional referees along with video technology in the game especially during the upcoming World Cup to avoid further complication.

    In fact personalities like Gerard Houllier the former Liverpool manager and current technical director of the French Football Association also supported the idea of using additional referees but in the executive committee meeting the members voted against this system to be introduced in the coming World Cup. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has explained that the new system cannot be used in the World Cup unless it has been tried globally.

    According to him there is potential that the referees can feel unfamiliar with the new system which can create more confusions. So the FIFA decided to go for the current system of running the game in the coming World Cup. According to the report of Times FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Platini have been opposed to this new idea while the FIFA Vice-President Franz Beckenbauer argued that the use of such technology may dilute the emotions of millions of football fans attached with the game.

    Who will win FIFA world Player of the year 2009?.

    9.12.2009 :: Argentina and Bardelona Mega Star Lionel Messi, 22, wso was runner-up the last two years FIFA World Player of the Year and This year's winner of Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year is ahead in This years FIFA player of the year award among five final nominees.

    The nominees were confirmed following a poll of national team captains and coaches from a list drawn up of FIFA Football Committee experts

    Cristiano Ronaldo is on the shortlist for the Fifa World Player of the Year award. The 2008 winner is one of five contenders for the award alongside his Real Madrid team-mate Kaka and the Barcelona trio, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

    The winners will then be revealed at the 19th Fifa World Player Gala at the Zurich Congress house on Monday 21 December.

    In the same event, the best 11 players of the year as chosen by over 50,000 professional footballers from all over the world will be honoured in the Fifa/FIFPro World XI.

    The Fifa Puskas Award will also be presented to scorer of the 'most beautiful goal' of 2009.

    Nominees for 2009 Fifa World Player of the Year award

    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Real Madrid

    Andres Iniesta (Spain), Barcelona

    Kaka (Brazil), Real Madrid

    Lionel Messi (Argentina), Barcelona

    Xavi (Spain), Barcelona

    Nominees for 2009 Fifa Women's World Player of the Year:

    Cristiane (Brazil)

    Inka Grings (Germany)

    Marta (Brazil)

    Birgit Prinz (Germany)

    Kelly Smith (England)

    East Bengal win 1 - 0 against Kalighat in CFL..

    9.12.2009 :: Debashis Majumder ::East Bengal registered another win in CFL against Kalighat. Today East Bengal got a dominating victory over Kalighat. But due to the lack of efficiency in finishing East Bengal failed to increase the lead.

    From the very beginning East Bengal established their dominance in the match. As the result of the early attacks East Bengal got their first goal as early as in the 8th minute of the match when from a fantastic cross of Abel Hammond Budhiram Tudu scored a fine goal to give East Bengal an early lead in the match. East Bengal continued their dominance throughout the entire first half but could not increase the margin of goals due to some very close misses. But in the 25th minute of the match the goal scorer Budhiram got himself injured and thus he was replaced by Poibang.

    In the second half East Bengal continued their dominance but Kalighat also organised certain counters during this span. But both the teams could not make any change to the scoreline and the match ended with 1-0 scoreline in favour of East Bengal.

    With this win East Bengal registered their third win in this edition of Sahara Premier Division CFL whereas for Kalighat the only concession for them from the match was the brilliant performance delivered by Kunal Ghosh who also became the M.O.M of today’s match.

    East Bengal : Abhra Mondol, Santu Das, Saheb Ali Ghorami, Ugo Okpara, Saikat Saha Roy, Harmanjot Khabra, Malsawmkima (Alvito D Counha 52'), Mumtaj Akhtaar, Bekhokhei, Budiram Tudu (Poibang Poshna 26'), Abel Hammond (Riston Rodriguez 38')


    9 DEC :KF East Bengal   1 - 0   Kalighat   ( FT )
    KEB : Budhiram Tudu 8'  ::  M.O.M : Kunal Ghosh (Kalighat)

    East Bengal : Abhra, Santu Das, Saheb Ali, Okpara, Saikat, Khabra, Malsawmkima (Alvito 52'), Mumtaj, Bekhokhei, Budiram (Poibang 26'), Hammond (Riston 38')

    Match ends, East Bengal wins 1-0.

    90+3: Saikat fouls Sukumar outside box, gets 2nd yellow and gets marching order. Nothing results from the free kick.

    90+2: Kalighat played much better football in 2nd half, East Bengal played well in first half.

    88: Abhra fists the ball for safety, cross came from left flank.

    84: Kalighat gets free kick 20 yards out of EB goal when Saikat commits the foul but Kunal's shot goes out of target.

    79: Alvito corner, Khabra brilliant head, hits post and goes out.

    78: Saheb Ali misses an open goal from Alvito pass.

    75: Kalighat putting more pressure, they appeals for penalty when Jaydeb was brought down by Poibang, but referee ignores the incident.

    70: Sukumar Roy attacks down left flank, gets past Poibang but instead of giving pass to two unmarked players in box, takes a shot that goes straight to Abhra.

    68: Alvito takes a free kick but ball goes straight to goalkeeper. 67: Kalighat playing much better in 2nd half.

    64: Saikat runs down right side, but bad foul on him. Alvito's dangerous free kick cleared for corner. Nothing results from corner.

    62: Alvito long pass to Riston, passes the ball to Saheb, but he gives mispass. Saheb now playing in forward after Hammond was replaced.

    57: Kalighat gets free kick in left flank but ball cleared by EB defence.

    52: Alvito replaces injured Malsawmkima.

    50: East Bengal mostly attacking down right flank, Saikat playing well and also Khabra who is doing a lot of running in midfield.

    48: Saikat takes the corner, Khabra got a chance but delays in taking the shot, ball cleared by Kalighat defence.

    48: Mumtaz pass to Kima, cleared for corner.

    46: 2nd half starts, Kalighat tries to move down right flank, ball goes out.

    45: Half time, EB leading 1-0

    44: Less attack from East Bengal after coach Rider replaced both their strikers.
    39: Brilliant shot by Kuntal from outside box, ball hits diving Abhra's hand, hits post and goes out.
    38: Riston comes in place of Hammond.
    35: Riston warming up.

    30: Saikat gets yellow card for hitting Kalighat player off the ball inside box.

    28: Unmarked Sukumar of Kalighat gets a ball in front of East Bengal box, but his shot balloons over crossbar.

    26: Budhiram replaced by Poibang.

    25: Budhiram lying injured, goes out.

    23: East Bengal dominating the match.

    19: Kalighat makes a good move, but cleared by Okpara.

    16: Hammond takes a shot from right side in box, but ball goes out.

    13: Khabra took a shot from 20 yards out, goalkeeper fumbles, loose ball goes to Hammond, tries to place the ball past goalkeeper, but ball goes out.

    10: Hammond gets a through ball from midfield, but his push saved brilliantly by Kalighat goalkeeper.

    8: Budiram scores the first goal. Hammond cross from right side, Budiram flicks the ball inside goal past goalkeeper.

    7: Kalighat foreigner takes a shot from inside EB box, but cleared by Okpara.

    6: Long ball to Budiram, who controls the ball nicely in Kalighat box, gives a pass to Saikat, who dribbles past one player but his cross deflects off a Kalighat player and goes to goalkeeper.

    3: Saikat long throw in Kalighat box, Hammond heads, but ball cleared for safety.

    1: Match kicks off, Hammond tried to make the first move but cleared by Kalighat midfield.

    Real Madrid, Milan and Bayern
    clinched places in Champs. League...

    9.12.2009 :: Real Madrid, AC Milan and Bayern Munich clinched places in the next round of the Champions League on Tuesday.

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to help nine-time European champion Madrid win 3-1 at Marseille. Madrid ahead in the fifth minute with a 30-yard free kick of Ronaldo before Marseille playmaker Lucho Gonzalez leveled from close range in the 11th.Madrid defender Raul Albiol scored in the 60th and Ronaldo rounded off the scoring 10 minutes before the end following a mistake by Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.Madrid finished with 13 points.

    Brazilian Star Ronaldinho converted a second-half penalty to help AC Milan drew 1-1 with Zurich, struggling to earn a place in the knockout stage from Group C .Milan is now stay with 9 points. Milan was trailed until the 64th minute in Switzerland.They were in real danger of missing out on the next round but Zurich defender Alain Rochat was sent off for a foul on Marco Borriello and Ronaldinho scored the resulting penalty.

    Bayern Munich dominated the match away to Juventus to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout stage with a sensational 4-1 win .Bayern scored in 30th-minute penalty by Joerg Butt then Ivica Olic put Bayern ahead six minutes after halftime. Mario Gomez and substitute Anatoliy Tymoshchuk scored in the last seven minutes.The victory ensured Bayern enter the knockout stage as the second finishers in Group A with 10 points while Juventus will play in the Europa League after finishing third with eight following top finishers Bordeaux, who had secured their last 16 place ahead of the 1-0 win over Maccabi Haifa who finished with 16 points.Maccabi Haifa became the first team to be eliminated from the Champions League without winning a point or scoring a goal.In an another match CSKA Moscow won 2-1 against Besiktas.

    Group D had already been settled before Tuesday.First-place Chelsea conceded an 87th-minute equalizer to draw 2-2 with APOEL Nicosia. Chelsea, already assured of their place in the last 16.Winner of 2003 Champions League F.C Porto, who also booked their tickets ahead of Tuesday's match, defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0.

    Last Day Results

    Dec 8 : Marseille   1 - 3   Real Madrid
    Dec 8 : Juventus   1 - 4   Bayern Munich
    Dec 8 : Chelsea   2 - 2   Apoel Nicosia
    Dec 8 : VfL Wolfsburg   1 - 3   Manchester United
    Dec 8 : FC Zurich   1 - 1   AC Milan
    Dec 8 : Atletico Madrid   0 - 3   FC Porto
    Dec 8 : Maccabi Haifa   0 - 1   Bordeaux
    Dec 8 : Besiktas   1 - 2   CSKA Moscow

    Mohammedan S.C beat W.B.Police in Sahara CFL...

    8.12.2009 ::Mohammedan S.C beat West Bengal police 1 - 0 in IFA Sahra CFL Premier League match at their own ground today..

    Match Report

    85':Close shave for Mohammedan goal. Cross from right side to Narugopal, who tries to take a right footed shot, but very good interception by Amritpal Singh prevents Narugopal from taking the shot.
    80':Eduardo has been rightly adjudged Man of the Match. He played well down both flanks and delivered some nice crosses for Dipendu and Theo.
    75':Brilliant save by Manas Barua of MSC, Narugopal shot from about 25 yards out, Manas dives to his left to save a certain goal.
    70': Theo gives pass to Edu, his shot can't beat goalkeeper who was out of charge.
    65': Bapi runs down left side, gets past 2 players, gives a pass to Theo, but his pass cleared by defence, Edu takes a shot but it balloons over cross bar.
    62':Dipendu gives a very good through pass for Satyajit but good tackle by W.B. Police defender.
    58':GOALLLLLLL.... free kick by Edu paved the way for the first goal of the match, WBP defender fails to clear the ball, MSC Striker Dipendu dives forward to head, ball deflects off goalkeeper to go inside goal.
    57':Mohammedan continues to build up pressure but W.B. Police defending well.
    55': Sabbir Ali makes two changes in quick succession bringing on Dipendu and Dipankar.
    36':Bapi Chowdhury of MSC wastes an easy chance , dribbles past one player, but instead of taking a shot gives a poor back pass.
    30':Mohammedan is making most of the moves down the right side, mostly initiated by Edu who is playing brilliant football.
    23':Against run of play, W.B. Police gets a good chance but takes a poor shot from inside box that is cleared for safety by Anupam.
    19':Edu got two loose ball in right flank but his cross cleared for corner. In 17th minute, Edu takes a good shot but it goes straight to goalkeeper.
    2':Mohammedan controlling the game with Edu and Theo upfront. In 1st minute, W.B. Police player took a shot from outside box that beat Manas but just went over crossbar. After that, it is Mohammedan all over.

    Mohammedan S.C: Manas Barua, Rajib Ghosh, Amritpal Singh, Anupam Sarkar, Sanjay Parte, Satyajit Bose (Dipakar Roy 55'), Sovan Chakraborty, Lalchulwama (Dipendu 50'), Bapi Choudhury (Lucky Imran 79'), Theodore Sunday, Eduardo Escobar.

    India beat Nepal to reach SAFF Semi Final...

    7.12.2009 :: U-23 Indian team maintained its winning streak as they registered 1-0 win over Nepal senior team. In the SAAF cup, though all the teams have brought their senior team, AIFF and Indian National team coach Houghton decided to send the U-23 Indian team. Till now, this has worked as India won both their starting matches. They will play their last group league match on 9th December against Maldives. India are now in the top of the group A with 6 points from 2 matches.

    India started dominating proceedings and made few good attempts at goal. Within first 15 minutes, India could have been ahead by 2 goals but Sushil's effort went out. Arindam also made few good saves today.

    India took the lead in the 19th minute. Shushil Kumar Singh's curling free kick from about 25 yards that hitted the outside edge of the cross bar and rebounded ball allowing K. Jibon Singh to score with a header beating Nepal Keepr Bikash Malla.

    After conceding the goal, Nepal started creating pressure and Jumanu and Lajong FC's Anil Gurung combined well, but Indian defence and goalkeeper stood firm and did not allow Nepal to score any goal.

    In 1st half, Arindam and Joaquim was shown yellow card.

    After change of ends, Nepal put more pressure and Arindam made few good saves. The best save came when Anil Gurung had a clear look at the goal with only Arindam to beat, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Indian goalkeeper.

    Overall, the performance was very satisfactory from Indian point of view.

    INDIA:Arindam ,Denzil ,Ravanan, Rowilson, Lalthalma ,Abranches(Subodh Kumar), Baldeep, Manish(Jewel Raja), Jeevan, Balwant(Jeje Lalpekhlua), Sushil,,

    NEPAL:Bikash ,Anjan ,Biraj,Sagar, Rohit, Sandeep(Santosh) , Raju, Bijaya(Yogesh), Jumanu, Anil,Chetan