Mamata Banerjee wants to see Mohammedan Sporting Club in the ISL 

A glimpse from the event. (Image Courtesy - Mohammedan Sporting Club)
A glimpse from the event. (Image Courtesy - Mohammedan Sporting Club)
Ritam Basu

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed her wish to see Mohammedan Sporting Club enter the Indian Super League. The Kolkata giants organized a grand event at the club ground on Wednesday to celebrate their Calcutta Football League Premier Division A title triumph after a four-decade hiatus.

In an audio message sent to the club from Mumbai, Banerjee said:

“I would like to congratulate the entire team on the historic achievement. I now want to see Mohammedan Sporting play in the ISL. The club has been a source of Bengal’s pride for decades and our government will leave no stone unturned to develop the club’s infrastructure.”

Notably, it was Banerjee who facilitated East Bengal’s association with their investor Shree Cement Ltd last year, which ensured the Red-and-Golds’ entry into the cash-rich league. Earlier this year, the club's participation in the ISL became uncertain owing to the impasse over the signing of the final agreement. Once again, Banerjee acted as a mediator between the two parties to seal the deal.

A star-studded affair

The MSC officials, along with their investor Bunkerhill Pvt Ltd, made elaborate arrangements for the event. From the stunning decorations to the magnificent buffet, every corner of the ground radiated joy and energy.

It was graced by state cabinet ministers Aroop Biswas and Firhad Hakim, several former footballers and coaches, top IFA officials and representatives from rival clubs East Bengal and Railway FC.

Biwas, currently West Bengal’s Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, promised to renovate the club ground and extend the necessary infrastructural support. He announced that the ground would be comparable to Salt Lake Stadium's training pitches within the next few months.

Supporters present at the venue went berserk when the club’s General Secretary Danish Iqbal’s turn came to speak.

“We’ve ended our 40-year quest for the CFL trophy. Today, we take a vow that we’ll win at least one trophy every year from now,” he said.

Club legends Shabbir Ali, Md Akbar, Syed Nayeemuddin, Manas Bhattacharyya and Syed Rahim Nabi walked down memory lane and recounted their fondest experiences with the club, as their voices were choked with emotion.

MSC captain Nikola Stojanović thanked the fans for their ceaseless support. The Serbian midfielder claimed that despite playing across various leagues and countries, the love he receives from MSC is unrivaled. He also said that his side's next target is to win the I-League.

Bunkerhill’s director Dipak Kumar Singh shared his long-term vision for the club, which includes building a state-of-the-art academy.

“As long as we’re associated with MSC, we’ll try to revive the club’s past glory and make it one of India’s best football teams. We promise to you that we’ll build a state-of-the-art academy in Bengal and promote local talent,” he revealed.

Since Bunkerhill’s arrival last year, the Black Panthers have reached the finals of four competitions.

Also read: “We’ll soon collaborate with a famous English club” – Mohammedan Sporting Club investor Dipak Kumar Singh confirms (Exclusive)

Later, the members of the winning team were felicitated, with the sole exception of striker Marcus Joesph. His 3rd minute winner against Railway FC in the final earned MSC their 12th CFL title on November 18. The Trinidad and Tobago international was unable to attend the event due to personal reasons.

MSC lose practice game 0-2 against Real Kashmir FC

A day after the gala celebrations, MSC suffered a 0-2 defeat against Real Kashmir FC in their third practice match ahead of their 2021 IFA Shield campaign. Stojanović and Joseph didn’t play the game on Thursday.

The Black Panthers have earned direct entry to the knockout stage of the prestigious tournament. Their quarter-final fixture is scheduled for December 8.

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Edited by Shourjo Chatterjee


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