Md Sporting’s triumph new beginning of Bengal’s domination: Chaubey

Kalyan Chaubey at the Trophy Presentation Ceremony of I-League 2023-24. Source: X

The AIFF president, Kalyan Chaubey believes the entry of Mohammedan Sporting will add glamour to the ISL. The former Indian team custodian also sees the club’s I-League triumph as the beginning of Bengal’s domination of the Indian football map.

Mohammedan Sporting sealed their I-League title with a 2-1 win over Shillong Lajong FC last Saturday. The Black-and-White brigade had to wait until their final home game against Delhi FC to lift the trophy. A 3-1 defeat against Delhi FC at Salt Lake Stadium did not dampen celebrations.

Chaubey, along with other dignitaries, handed the I-League trophy to the winning side. “This marks the beginning of domination by Bengal football. It’s true that a few years ago, Bengal was going through a rough phase. However, with Mohammedan Sporting’s participation alongside Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the ISL, Bengal football is poised for a resurgence,” said Chaubey on the sidelines of the ceremony.

Chaubey reminisced about the glorious days of Bengal football when Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting ruled Indian football. Mohammedan Sporting was the first civilian club to win the Durand Cup.

“Once, the three giants from Kolkata used to dominate Indian football in tournaments like Durand Cup, DCM Trophy, Rovers Cup and Bordoloi Trophy. Kolkata clubs were the most consistent performers in these tournaments, and the number of trophies won by the them was always a topic of discussion,” said Chaubey.

Mohammedan Sporting endured a long lean spell and waited 17 years for their first I-League title. This triumph earned them a promotion to the ISL, India’s top league. With them joining East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Chaubey said this is a new beginning.

“Despite the club being based in Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting supporters are spread across the country. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan did not participate in the early years of the ISL. They are now joined by Mohammedan Sporting. This marks the beginning of domination by Bengal football.”

The AIFF president emphasised that Mohammedan Sporting’s addition will be a big boost for ISL in terms of viewership and spectators. The club has a huge fan base throughout the country. When the Durand Cup used to take place in Delhi, they were a huge attraction.

Chaubey believes that Mohammedan Sporting’s I-League triumph and promotion to ISL will attract more spectators, adding glamour to the league. “A league becomes more popular when it attracts more viewers, spectators and supporters to the stadium. With the addition of Mohammedan Sporting, the ISL is expected to gain more glamour and popularity,” the AIFF president signed off.

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