INDIAN FOOTBALL NEWS (JULY 2021)
MOHAMMEDAN SC - KOLKATA TALENT HUNT PROGRAMME
MSC PRESS RELEASE -2021 July 28 : The West Bengal edition of the Mohammedan Sporting Club Talent Hunt Program has started today at Mohammedan Sporting Ground. It will continue till Friday, 30 July 2021. Over 150 aspiring footballers participated on the inaugural day of this Talent Hunt Program in the presence of Mohammedan Sporting Club's 1981 Calcutta Football League winning members Prasanta Banerjee, Alok Mukherjee, Manos Bhattacharya as scouts and Club's Youth Coaches Abid Hussain, MD. Shahid and Aslam Parvez.
Club Executive Committee Members Sr. Vice President MD. Qamaruddin, General Secretary Danish Iqbal, Director of Bunkerhill Sports Dipak Singh, Football Secretary Dipendu Biswas, Finance Secretary Sharique Ahmed, Athletics Secretary Hasnain Ahmed, Asst. Ground Secretary Belal Ahmed Khan and Khalid Shedan. Another 600 participants are expected to join this Talent Hunt Program during the next two days.
The sole purpose of the project is to find out the raw footballing talents across the country and give them a platform to showcase their talent for one of the biggest clubs in India with a 130 years old legacy and for the Indian national team in the future.
Football Delhi Announce Sporting Ethos as their High Performance Partner
FOOTBALL DELHI PRESS RELEASE -2021 July 21 : Football Delhi, the governing body of football in Delhi announced its partnership with Sporting Ethos, as their High-Performance Partner.
Sporting Ethos has been pioneering High Performance for athletes through Sports Science & Medicine since 2012. Their team of experts work together on aspects of Injury Prevention & Management, Strength & Conditioning, Sports Nutrition, Sport Psychology and Recovery Services. This partnership will help Football Delhi adopt a scientific approach towards Sport, Exercise and Performance, and empower young players across age groups and competitive levels to achieve High Performance.
Football Delhi’s President, Dr Shaji Prabhakaran quoted “We are very excited to partner with Sporting Ethos for providing best possible sports science support to players in Delhi. We look forward to working closely with Sporting Ethos to ensure that the players meet their true potential and achieve longevity in their careers.”
Sporting Ethos, Rishabh Jaiswal exclaimed, “This is a great time to forge this partnership with Football Delhi. There is a huge amount of young talent waiting to burst through and with the increasing encouragement from the players. We have planned multiple engagements including regular webinars/workshops on different aspects of sports science along with providing physiotherapy support during tournaments and conducting physical fitness assessments for players.”
With the aim to improve the skill, mental and physical fitness, Sporting Ethos conducts 360-degree assessments to assess the current levels of fitness, nutrition and mental game of the players and provide individualised services to help players improve on these aspects, both online and offline.
In line with their Motto “Athlete First”, with this partnership and continuous support from Sporting Ethos, Football Delhi wishes to bring about the best possible scientific support that can be offered to players across the city.
Sandesh named AIFF Men's Footballer of the Year, Suresh wins Emerging Player award
20.7.21: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : : Blue Tigers defender Sandesh Jhingan is the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2020-21, with midfielder Suresh Singh Wangjam being named the winner of the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2020-21 Award. Both the players were voted by the club coaches.
It is the first time that the towering central defender has received the Player of the Year award, having won the Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2014.
He shared his joy at receiving the honour, saying: “Being voted by club coaches of the Hero ISL and the Hero I-League as the AIFF Men’s Footballer of the Year 2020-21 is a huge honour for me. I take this Award as a motivation to do better, and inspire others to follow their passion for the sport. A big thank you to AIFF, my family, my team-mates, support staff and all my coaches both at the club level, and at the National level for keeping their belief in me. And a big hug to all those teachers and well- wishers who have stood by me all throughout. This Award comes with a huge responsibility – not to let anyone down.”
Sandesh made his Senior National Team debut in 2015 in Guwahati and has since gone on to make 40 appearances for the Blue Tigers, scoring four goals. He was part of the Indian sides that lifted the Hero Intercontinental Cup in 2018 and played out a memorable draw at the home of the Asian champions Qatar in 2019.
Additionally, he has captained the senior team on five occasions, the most recent being the International Friendly against Oman in Dubai in March this year. He also received the prestigious Arjuna Award from the Government of India in 2020. 20-year-old Suresh Singh Wangjam, who made his Blue Tigers debut earlier this year against Oman, becomes the latest midfielder to win the Men's Emerging Footballer of the Year Award.
He stated: “It’s an honour for me to receive the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2020-21 Award. I am extremely glad and thankful. This Award will improve my self-belief and will motivate me to achieve further success in the future.”
A former AIFF Academy cadet, Suresh was part of the Indian side that competed at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and spent two seasons with the AIFF's developmental side Indian Arrows in the Hero I-League. Known for his never-ending stamina and box-to-box play, the midfielder has notched up five senior national team caps and started all three of India's games at the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Doha in June.
The winners for the awards were chosen on the basis of votes from Hero Indian Super League and Hero I-League club coaches. "Heartiest congratulations to the Awardees. I hope they will continue moving forward from strength to strength in the future and continue to inspire with their performances and achievements," AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel said in his statement.
Bala Devi, Manisha Kalyan named winners of annual AIFF Awards
20.7.21: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : : Indian Women's National Team forward Bala Devi has been named as the AIFF Women’s Footballer of the Year 2020-21, with young gun Manisha winning the AIFF Women’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2020-21 Award.
On receiving the honour, the 31-year-old Bala stated: “I’m so happy to have won this award. A big thank you to the AIFF and all the fans for their support. I’d also like to thank my coaches -- both at my club in Rangers, and in the National Team, and also and all the coaches that I’ve played under in the past. A big thank you also to my family and all my teammates for all the support.”
“I arrived in Scotland last year, just before the global lockdown had started, and acclimatising to any new place in such conditions has been extremely difficult. But with their help, I have been able to focus on the things that are most important, and keep myself in top shape, both mentally and physically,” she added.
This marks the third time that the mercurial forward has won this prestigious award, having previously won it two years in a row in 2014 and 2015. Currently playing for Rangers Women's FC in Scotland, Bala made her debut for the team in February last year and created history as she scored her first competitive goal for the team in December. She remains the first Indian woman footballer to sign a professional contract in Europe.
19-year-old Manisha, who is also a forward, was named the Women's Emerging Footballer of the Year for the first time and expressed her delight at being named for the honour. She stated: “Thank you AIFF for choosing me for the emerging player of the year award. This Award motivates me to push further to work harder for my team and achieve our goals.”
“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff of the National team who taught me and made me capable enough for this award. I would further extend my gratitude to my teammates without whom the award couldn't have been possible. My family, my coaches, teachers – a big thank you to all.”
A former India U-17 and U-19 international, Manisha made her senior national team debut against Hong Kong in 2019 and since then, she has gone on from strength to strength. She also received the Emerging Player of the Tournament Award at the 2019-20 Hero Indian Women's League, where she played a key role in Gokulam Kerala FC's run to the title.
Both the winners were chosen by the National Team Head Coach Maymol Rocky in consultation with AIFF Interim Technical Director Savio Medeira. Meanwhile, the AIFF Award for the Best Referee 2020-21 went to Mr. Tejas Nagvenkar while Mr. Sumanta Dutta was adjudged for the AIFF Award for the Best Assistant Referee 2020-21.
Mr. Praful Patel, President, AIFF in his message, averred: "I would like to congratulate the award winners for the season as Indian football continues to move forward together. They are inspirations for one and all, and all of us are proud of them and share the joy.”
Indian women's senior national team, head coach Maymol Rocky has stepped down from her role
21.7.21: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : : After four years in charge of the Indian women's senior national team, head coach Maymol Rocky has stepped down from her role due to personal reasons.
Maymol, who took over the reins as head coach in 2017 after a stint as the Assistant Coach, led the team to a number of international glories and saw them progress tremendously as women's football continues to move forward together.
Speaking to www.the-aiff.com, she thanked the federation for their 'trust' in her abilities. "I sincerely thank the All India Football Federation for believing in me and the team for so many years. I would like to express my gratitude to Praful Patel-sir (President, AIFF), Kushal Das-sir (General Secretary, AIFF), Abhishek Yadav-sir (Deputy General Secretary & Director, National Teams, AIFF) and the entire staff at Football House for all their support,” she averred.
"I am very happy to see the progress we have made in the last few years. The facilities we got were always excellent and the support we got from the federation, Sports Authority of India (SAI), and the Government of Odisha has been the key to our success," Maymol added.
Mr. Kushal Das stated: "Maymol Rocky has expressed her inability to continue as the Head Coach of the Senior National Women’s Football Team owing to personal reasons. We accept her decision and thank her for her contribution to Indian Football. Our best wishes to her for her future endeavours."
The Indian Women's National Team created history in November 2018 by making it through to the second round of the Olympic qualifiers for the first time ever, and won the title at the SAFF Women's Championship in 2019 and the gold medal at the South Asian Games in Nepal.
India set to host the AFC Women's Asian Cup for the first time next year, Maymol expressed her best wishes to the team for the tournament. "I would like to express my best wishes to the next coach as well and will always be there for any kind of support and to help in any way I can. I have resigned but I will definitely return to coaching in the near future."
Delhi based Vedaant Nag - The first Indian to play Austrian 3rd Division
17.7.21: ERIC BENNY PRESS RELEASE : 24 years old Delhi based defender Vedant Nag has been signed in Austrian 3rd Division side USK struck. He was a player of SB Chiemgau Traunstein in Bavaria, and also have an experience at FC Metz in France.
Q1. Who are you?
A1. Vedaant Nag - a Navy child, brought up in New Delhi in a warm, loving, family who love food, music, and sports in that order! My schooling was at The Shri Ram School where I learnt to love learning, football, music and art. I’ve grown up as an avid fan of Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo, who I have had the opportunity to meet.
Q2. Introduction to football?
A2. Like most younger brothers, my motivation was to emulate my older brother Siddhant who was a passionate and excellent player himself. I consider him my first inspiration. My grandfather, dad and uncles were avid sportspersons in their time and I guess the genes travelled.
My mother, who was blessed with two sportsmen, drove us to endless early-morning school training sessions and tournaments. I experienced football at a grassroots level when I was selected for the U13 Haryana and U17 Delhi team. It was my exposure to the Youth Friendship Games in Holland however that gave me an outlook on football that really appealed to me. It was also around this time that I met my mentor today, Eric Benny.
Q3. European football journey?
A3. Eric Sir’s cooperation with FC Metz gave me the opportunity to rub shoulders with top youth prospects in France. It was a massive eye-opener for me. After two valuable years, I then decided to come to DFI in Germany, which let me hone my skills individually while officially playing in the german men’s divisions. I came in with the thought process that I would start out with a lower division club like the 4th division and in 2-3 years play in the Bundesliga. It was soon made clear to me however, that Men’s football in Germany was a whole different beast. Starting from the 10th of 12 divisions, I worked my way up the ladder to the 6th division before my jump to the 3rd division in Austria. It has been a very long and bumpy ride but one that’s possible nonetheless!
Q4. Why did you choose to take the European route?
A4. Hearing stories of Sunil Chhetri playing a friendly against Manchester United and Bhaichung Bhutia playing in England made me wonder why it wasn’t possible for me to make my mark in Europe. My ambition was to achieve something few Indians have, which is why this moment is a proud one personally and as an Indian. Watching my father directly contribute to the safety of our country inspired me to want to give back to India in whatever capacity I can. I intend to do the same in the future and put India on the football map.
Q5. What struggles have you faced?
A5. Being away from home has to be the biggest sacrifice I have made. I have been in Europe for 7 years now, meaning missing out on 7 years worth of potential memories with my closest friends and family. Finding a way to manage my academic pursuits while continuing to play, becoming fluent with foreign languages. Add the usual ups and downs of your individual performance and it can make for a very taxing time physically and emotionally.
Q6. How have your experiences in France and Germany been?
A6. My experience has been very positive. I have found that people are appreciative of efforts to learn their language and integrate yourself in their culture. That is all that is expected, you will quickly be rewarded with respect. FC Metz and DFI opened their doors to me and treated me as their own for which I am thankful.
Gokulam Kerala FC Women will face the Amman Club in its first match on November 7 th
17.7.21: GKFC PRESS RELEASE : The Kerala club is grouped among the league winners from Uzbekistan, Jordan and Iran in the championship. The Asian Football Confederation is yet to release the schedule and venue for the knockout stages of the tournament.
Gokulam Kerala FC will face the Amman Club in its first match on November 7 th. In the second match, Iran champions Shahrdari Sirjan on November 9 th, followed by Uzbek champion club FC Bunyodkur.
According to the tournament regulations, a total of 23 players can be registered. The club can register up to five foreigners, and one player should be from an Asian country.
“We are excited to represent the country. All the clubs in our are tough teams but we will try our best in the championship. This is the first time a club from India taking part in the women’s continental cup. We have to give our best and make the country proud,” said PV Priya, the head coach of Gokulam Kerala FC.
“It is going to be a tough group but we are looking more than mere participation. We need to prepare well and we hope we can make history,” said VC Praveen, the president of Gokulam Kerala FC.
EAST BENGAL DECIDED NOT TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT OF SHREE CEMENT
16.7.21: In an important close door meeting at the club premises, the executive committee of East Bengal club, headed by the club President Dr Pranab Dasgupta finally decided not to sign the final agreement offered by the investors Shree Cement.
In a Press release signed by Kalyan Mazumdar, the club secretary stated that the term sheet and agreement as disrespectful and are not in favour of the club as well as the millons of members and supporters of the century old legendary club. The agreement regarding Club ground, Club tent, Club logo and even the entity of the club are not fundamentally favourable for the historic club. East Bengal executive committee will not sign in any agreement which disrespect the sentiment of the club. The press release was signed by 24 executive committee members who attended the meeting.
Shree Cement joined hands with East Bengal in the year 2020, forming a company Shree Cement East Bengal Foundation and participated in the recently concluded Indian Super League. At present the Sporting Rights of East Bengal are with Shree Cement. So, it will be really a tough time for the club to proceed furthur and settle the issue with the investor before the start of the Indian football season. IFA already declared the Groups of CFL and the other Indian clubs are preparing for the up coming season.
The All India Football Federation has nominated Gokulam Kerala FC for the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021.GKFC PRESS RELEASE - 15/07/21 : Gokulam are the reigning champions in the last edition of the Indian Women’s League. AIFF has postponed the fifth edition of the Hero IWL beyond the proposed window and the football governing body has nominated the champion club from the season 19-20.
“We are honoured to be nominated by the AIFF. We are happy that our women’s team will play the continental championship before our men’s team. We will be starting our camp soon and we will try to land the first AFC cup to India,” said Gokulam Gopalan, the chairman of Gokulam Kerala FC.
“We will continue in investing in women’s football. We want our women team to lift the AFC trophy first and set an example for our men’s team,” said Gokulam Gopalan.
“GKFC have always been supporting women’s football India and we believe our entry to the continental cup will motivate more girls to take up this beautiful game. We believe that if we win the title it will make our women flagbearers of the country in Asian football and our aim is to do our best,” said VC Praveen, the president of the GKFC.
Gokulam Kerala FC have been a torchbearer of women’s football in the country since its inception. The club has participated in all the IWL editions after the club was formed. And it is the only club from the ILeague/Indian Super League to participate in the Hero Indian Women’s League until now.
With the nomination, the club has become the first club from the country to get entry to both the men’s and women’s continental championship. GKFC men team had gained entry to participate in AFC Cup by virtue of winning the ILeague 2020-21 edition
Hero I-League’s latest entrants Sreenidi Deccan Football Club launched in Visakhapatnam08.07.2020 - AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Sreenidi Deccan FC, the latest entrants into the Hero I-League this season, was launched in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh Sports Minister Shri Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao was the chief guest at the launch of the Visakhapatnam-based football club. Also present at the occasion were Meka Venkata Pratap Appa Rao, MLA, Nuzvid, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, AIFF Leagues CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar, and IAS Mr. Rama Mohan Rao.
Speaking at the occasion, Andhra Pradesh Sports Minister Shri M Srinivasa Rao remarked, “Mental and physical fitness is coming to Visakhapatnam in such a big way,” while also congratulating Sreenidi Deccan FC on the launch.
AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das stated, “We welcome Sreenidi Deccan FC to the Hero I-League, and it’s great to see a team from Vizag in the elite group, which would be having the best facilities.”
Sreenidhi will have their first experience of playing in the Hero I-League 2021-22 later this season. The 2021-22 edition of the Hero I-League is set to kick-off in December in Kolkata, the pandemic situation permitting.