Category: News

Minerva Punjab awarded for Grassroots football development at FICCI GOAL 2019

NEW DELHI: The FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) along with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) on 26th March 2019 organised GOAL 2019, the 6th International Convention on Business of Football in Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Mr. Subrata Dutta (Senior Vice President); Smt. Sara Pilot (Chairperson, Women’s Football Committee) and Mr. Sunando Dhar (CEO of Hero I-League) represented AIFF at the convention, while Mr. Rohit Bharadwaj, Director of Sports of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports from Government of India was also present.

Minerva Punjab FC were awarded for “Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level” at the opening ceremony. 

Minerva Punjab FC were chosen for the award ahead of all other clubs and academies in the country, due to Minerva’s laudable efforts to develop football at a regional and grassroots level. Minerva Punjab FC have been Champions of the AIFF U-15 I-League for the last three consecutive years. Minerva also won the inaugural AIFF U-13 League held last year and this season have already claimed the AIFF U-18 League trophy. 

Apart from the impressive win record of Minerva Punjab FC, Minerva also has the unique contribution of having supplied more than 50 players in various age group National teams directly from its residential football academy in Mohali.

Mr. Robert Klein, the CEO of Bundesliga awarded Minerva Punjab FC for their Valuable Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj, the Owner of the club received the award on club’s behalf. “I am really happy that Minerva Punjab FC is being recognised for all the work we are doing to develop football at a regional level. We are devoted towards fulfilling our mission to produce players for the National Teams and this award comes as a great encouragement to us to carry on despite the obstacles.”

After the Awards ceremony the convention kicked off with a session on regional and national impact of the leagues (ISL and I-League) in the development of Indian Football. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj represented the only I-League club on the panel, Minerva Punjab FC and shared his perspective from the point of view of an I-League club owner. Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League; Mr. Mandar Tamhane, CTO, Bengaluru FC; Mr. Indranil Das Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC and Mr. Viren D’Silva, CEO, Kerala Blasters FC were also on the panel for the session. The discussion progressed from India’s 2026 World Cup hopes, the impact of the leagues in creating talent pool for the future and how the leagues have benefited the football ecosystem in the country. 

Amateur World Chess-Boxing Championship begins in Kolkata tomorrow

KOLKATA: The second edition of Amateur World Chess Boxing Championship will take place in Kolkata from 26th July to 29th July, 2018.

This is the second time in the history of the young  sport a three days tournament will be held open to everyone with both good chess and boxing skills.

Fighters from all over the world are expected, hailing from the member countries of the World Chess Boxing Organisation (such as Russia, Germany, India, USA and Italy) to fighters from countries where there is not yet a chessboxing organization in place (such as France and South Africa). The experience of the fighters varies from 3 to more than 80 amateur boxing bouts as well as chess ELO ratings between 1200 and 2200.

A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A bout begins with a three-minute chess round, followed by three minutes of boxing. Competitors each have a maximum total of nine minutes to complete all their chess moves.

A fight can be won in one of four ways: by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision, or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“By combining the number one fighting sport with the number one thinking sport, there is no other sport that challenges the full scale of human capacity as radically as chessboxing does!” says lepe Rubingh, inventor of chessboxing.

After creating and founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh started the first Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004 from which all other organisations worldwide emerged. In 2013 The World Chess Boxing Organisation was founded as a non profit to foster the sport of chessboxing on a global amateur level.

Today there are 11 national organizations with more than 3500 fighters and over 1,500 fights take place annually.

The Chess Boxing Organisation of India (CBOI) is the organiser of the second amateur world championships. Under guidance of it’s founding father Montu Das, the CBOI has established itself as one of the leading organizations in the chessboxing community as it is by far the biggest with more than a 1,000 members.

General Facts:
What: Chessboxing Amateur World Championships
Date: 26th-29th of July, 2018.
City, Country: Kolkata, India
Stadium: Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra and Boxing Hall
Governing body: World Chess Boxing Organisation
Organising body: Chess Boxing Organisation of India

IOA President discusses Asian Beach Games 2020 with OCA President

Chennai: The President of the Indian Olympic Association Mr N. Ramachandran had a discussion on the possibility of India hosting the Asian Beach Games in 2020 with the Olympic Council of Asia, Mr Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) on Sunday.

Mr Ramachandran is in the Turkmenistan capital in connection with the inauguration of the Asian Indoor and Martial Games which is being held there from September 17 to 27 as also the OCA’s General Assembly which is scheduled there on September 20. A decision on the allotment of the Beach Games is expected to be taken at the General Assembly. India’s bid would be subject to the Union Government’s approval, Mr Ramachandran said.

India is also a participant in the ten-day Indoor Games in Ashgabat. The IOA President said he had also discussed with the OCA President the India contingent’s participation in this Games. Other development activities of the IOA also came up in the discussion, he added.

Two Golds for Aryan at South African Junior Nationals

Durban, South Africa: Swimmer Aryan Makhija claimed his third medal at the South African Junior Nationals with a win in the 1500 m freestyle event at the King’s Park Swimming Pool, in Durban, South Africa, on Monday. Makhija’s time of 16:05.64 beats the qualification standard set by the Swimming Federation of India for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held in Bahamas, in July.

“Aryan has been working really hard as it was his main aim to beat the qualification time since it was announced by the Swimming Federation of India. I’m very proud of what he’s achieved and I’m sure he will continue to improve and go on to even higher levels of performance,” said JSW Sports’ Swimming Head Coach, Graham Hill, who also serves as coach for Swimming South Africa.

South Africa’s James Freeman (16:05.85) finished second while Andrew Ritchie (16:25.73) claimed third in a race that was tightly contested right from the start between the 17-year-old Makhija and Freeman, who represented the University of Pretoria.

A two-horse race for most parts, at the 500 meter mark, Freeman clocked in at 5:22.22 while Makhija was close behind at 5:22.44. Mumbai-born Aryan made his move in the second 500 meter stretch, clocking in at 1000 meters with a 1.72 second lead over Freeman. The final stretch saw Freeman move within 1.36 seconds of Makhija with 50 meters to cover, but it wasn’t to be for the South African.

Aryan’s finish beats the Swimming Federation of India’s qualification time of 16:06.06 (based on the third place finish at the previous Commonwealth Youth Games) by 0.42 seconds and the youngster expressed his happiness at having recorded the feat.

“I’m really happy to have claimed three medals, but more so to have beaten the qualification time for the Commonwealth Youth Games. Graham sir has been pushing me to work harder every day and I have to thank him and the JSW Sports family for all their support,” Makhija said.

Earlier, Aryan had claimed Silver in the 200 metre freestyle event with a time of 1:56.51 and Gold in the 400m freestyle clocking in at 4:05.15.

CFL: Tough task awaits Bagan against Tollygunge

By Ajay Majumder

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty has urged his side to forget the 6-0 drubbing they handed out to Army XI last weekend when they face Tollygunge Agragami in the Calcutta Football League on Thursday.

The match was originally scheduled on August 29 but has been abandoned in stoppage time at tied 1-1 after assistant referee Ujjal Haldar canceled Bagan’s Azharuddin Mallick’s goal for offside which saw Mohun Bagan fans invaded the playing area and threw objects on the ground.

Bagan officials later demanded for a replay which IFA accepted however Tollygunge, initially, did oppose the decision but eventually agreed to play the match avoiding a clash with the parent body.

“Tollygune is a strong side. They have put on a great show in the game that has been abandoned so we have to be cautious in our approach and need to avoid mistakes, committed last time around,” coach Sankarlal said ahead his team’s penultimate game in the CFL.

Going into the game Mohun Bagan will be without the services of regular centre-backs in Sanjay Balmuchu and Raju Gaikwad alongside winger Prabir Das who left for their respective ISL franchises. However, coach Sankarlal feels that it’s high time for the young players in the squad to step up in the absence of the seniors which will be a good positive sign for their future.

Tollygune, on the other hand, are on 8 points from 6 games just a point above the relegation zone therefor the Ranjan Chaudhury-led side will be eager to notch up a positive result allowing themselves some breating space in the league table.

Facing Mohun Bagan, Tollygunge will be relying on strike pair of Joel Sunday and Alfred Jaryan for goals upfront. Joining them will be the likes of Surabuddin Mallick,  Rakesh Masih and Reisangmei Vashum who would play a crucial role in the midfield.

The game at Mohun Bagan Ground kicks off at 5.30 pm on Thursday and there will be no telecast.

Punjab State Super Football League starts from tomorrow


Punjab: Punjab Football Association has planned to commence 30th JCT Punjab State Super Football League 2016 -2017 from 11th September, 2016 and conclude on 17th October, 2016. The following top eleven teams from Punjab are taking part in this event:

Border Security Force (BWF)-Jalandhar
Punjab Police Football Team, Jalandhar
Dailbir Football Academy, Patiala
Rail Coach Factory Football Team, Kapurthala
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – Jalandhar
Punjab state Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) – Hoshiarpur
Doaba Sporting Club, Khera-Mahilpur
Gurur Football Club, Jalandhar
Jangpur Football Club -Jangpur (Qualifier Team from Group A)
Satluj Football Club – Bichhohi (Qualifier Team from Group)
Jagat Singh Palahi Football Club – Phagwara (Qualifier as Best Team)

Total eleven rounds of five matches each have been arranged as this year Punjab Super Football League will be held on single leg league basis thereby each team having three home, three away and four neutral games. Thus according to change in format and not to confine this league in only three four districts, this year too PFA has planned to hold league’s neutral matches in multi-cities of Punjab so as it may reach at rural level in entire state of Punjab, some areas where grassroots football projects are also going on, have been chosen to host super league matches for youth of Punjab.

The opening ceremony has been assigned to Jangpur Sports Complex, Jangpur (District Ludhiana), from 11th September, 2016 at 4:00 PM followed by opening match between Jangpur Football Club and Punjab Police Football Team, where a set of opening neutral marches have been planned.

Although, JCT is playing its pivotal role in supporting PFA development activities, however, Legend International (INDPRO SPORTS) has also joined hand with Punjab Football Association and JCT to boost up football development in Punjab State. PFA approves ‘ULTRA’ as official ball for playing Super League Games. The Kick off time for all matches is fixed as 4:00 PM.

Durand Cup: Army Green pip Aizawl FC in penalties to enter final

By Ajay Majumder

NEW DELHI: Army Green entered the final of the ongoing ongoing 128th Durand Cup after defeating Aizawl FC 7-5 on penalties here today.

The second semi-final of the competition saw both sides level at 3-3 till the end of 120 minutes which resulted in a tie-breaker at Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.

Dominating the first half Army Green took the lead before the interval through Bikash Budhathoki, who slotted a back volley in the 23rd minute from a long throw-in. Aizawl made a splendid comeback in the second half and restored the partity in the 73rd minute when Bright Middleton Mends headed home before Lalramchullova put them infront five minutes later from the spot. However, Bikram Adhikari equalised for Army Green in the 83rd minute from a free-kick to drag the game into the extra time.

Army Green began the extra time brightly and went ahead for the second time in the game when Herojit Singh capitalised on error by Aizawl FC custodian Lalawmpuia to put his team in front at the very first minute of the extra time.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Aizawl FC almost pulled level but Bright Middleton Mends’ header off a flag-kick missed the target by a whisker.

Thereafter, the highlanders increased their pressure up front putting the Army Green defense under serious threat. The pressure paid off as Aizawl FC found the leveller in the 97th minute. A delightful cross floated in from the right by Lalrinzaula found Mends in the box and the Ghanaian slotted home another header.

In the final few minutes of the game, both sides tried hard for the winner couldn’t break the deadlock as the game went to the shootout where Army Green held their nerve and prevailed 4-2.

This is the first time since 2005 when a Army team have reached the final of the competition after Army XI, who beat Sporting Clube de Goa to claim the title.

Army Green will face Neroca FC, who ease past DSK Shivajians 3-0 earlier in the day, in the Grand Finale on Sunday.


Brilliant exhibition of attacking football as BVT FC rally after falling behind

Aizawl: The third fixture of Mizoram Premier League’s second round between Chanmari West FC and Bethlehem Vengthlang FC witnessed a thrilling display of attacking football as Bethlehem Vengthlang FC comeback to victory after falling behind on Friday at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl.

Bethlehem Vengthlang FC leads the table after second round with 6 points whereas Chanmari West FC are yet to open their account after going down twice in their first two matches.

A bright start by both teams saw some brilliant vibrant football from the opening minutes with both teams looking for an early advantage. Chanmari West FC got their breakthrough after 22 minutes when R. Laldampuia scored a beauty to give his side the lead.

Bethlehem Vengthlang FC, determind to reduce their deficit, hassled and harried their opponents and looked to hit on the break. While their opponents, looking for a second goal before halftime did not seem to want to take their foot off the gas.

The second half saw much of the same with both side creating chances in an end-to-end all action stuff. Bethlehem Vengthlang FC got their equaliser on the 58th miunute through Lalhlimpuia’s brilliant curler.

With the score level at one a piece, both sides were looking for the kill but in vain. United on the 75th minute Lalhlimpuia produced yet another magnificent strike to gice his side all three points.

The two-goal hero Lalhlimpuia was duly awarded  Man of the Match for his two goal-heroics.

CFL: Mohun Bagan will face-off against Army XI

Ujjal Sarkhel

Kolkata: Mohun Bagan will look to put the controvery over the Kolkata Derby, which never happend, behind when they face off against Army XI in their next match of the ongoing Calcutta Football League at Mohun Bagan Ground on Saturday.

Mohun Bagan were scheduled to play the first Kolkata Derby of the season against East Bengal on Wednesday but the match was called off after Mohun Bagan turned down to play the derby saying they needed at least one day for practice at Kalyani Stadium before the match and over 6,000 tickets for their members and gave walkover to East Bengal.

This almost ensured the championship for East Bengal as the Red and Golds only need one point to console their seventh successive league title, eclipsing their own feat of six back-to-back triumphs.

However, if East Bengal looses in their last two matches and Mohun Bagan wins their remaining three then they will have a chance to win the CFL, which is Mohun Bagan’s only motivation going into the game against Army XI.

Talking about this tie Bagan coach will maintain the same starting lineup which played in their last match against United Sports Club. Daniel Bidemi will pair with Darryl Duffy in upfront. Pankaj Moula, Prabir Das, Azaharuddin Mallick and Saran Singh will take the responsibility in midfield while Raju Gaikward and Sanjay Balmuchu will lead in central  defense and Chinta Chandrasekhar  Rao and Tanmoy Ghosh as the side backs.

“Though my team not played in the derby match due to some problems, but my boys are fully focused to play the last three matches and will give 100% to win those, I am still hoping for some miracle in the league.Army XI is a very good team with have some quality players but my boys is ready to face the chllange” said Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakrabarty.

Army XI, on the other hand, will go all out to win their crucial tie after beating Bhawanipore Club 3-2 in their last fixture.

For the record last year in CFL Army XI defeated 1-0 Mohun Bagan in an exciting encounter. This year Army’s front line have weakened a bit with their star player Arjun Tudu has left for ISL 3 but the likes of Francis Zonuthanga, Lallianmawia, Sinenlo Kath Rengma and Jain Punchakadan are back from Durand Cup which will give a lot of confidence to the Army side.

The match will kick off at 5.30 pm and will televised at ETV News Bangla.

ISL: FC Goa to play first pre-season friendly in Rio

Panaji, 9th September 2016:  FC Goa will kick start its set of pre-season friendlies with an opening encounter against Bangu Atletico Clube in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Head coach Zico is optimistic about his team’s chances in the Hero Indian Super League this season and in a bid to get his squad ready for the rigours of the ISL, has opted for his home country as the training venue for the pre-season.

The match will take place at Zico’s academy in Rio de Janeiro at 15.30 hrs, local time (12 am IST). The squad has been making extensive use of the training facilities available at the academy over the past week and has been put through an intense training regime in preparation for the season.

Goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani has picked up where he left off last season and is likely to retain his position between the sticks for the friendly. World Cup and UEFA Champions League winning defender, Lucio has re-signed for the franchise for the third season and will take the captain’s armband once more. Along with Gregory Arnolin, he formed a solid partnership at the heart of the defence last year which is expected to prompt Zico to continue with the same pairing.

Wingers Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai are likely to feature as well down the right and left wings respectively. Two season veteran, Jofre Mateu Gonzales has looked particularly sharp in training and is likely to slot into the midfield. The former Barcelona youth product was one of the major reasons for the success of the club in making it to the final of the second edition of the ISL and will be expected to shoulder much of the creative responsibility in midfield this year. Youngster Sahil Tavora, playing his first season of the tournament has had a promising start to the pre-season and could find himself in the thick of action as well.

Rafael Coelho, who came in as a replacement signing midway through the last season has risen to become a real fan favourite  and is expected to feature in the friendly too.  Coelho will be keen to work on his blossoming partnership with Indian target man, Robin Singh and indications are that Zico is likely to start the two up top.

The friendly should also allow Zico to give a run-out to his trio of new signings,  Rafael Dumas, Richarlyson and Trindade Goncalves before they face a sterner test in the second pre-season game against his alma matter, CR Flamengo on the 14th September. The club will then take on Boa Vista FC the following day in a match where Zico is likely to rotate his squad in an effort to get all his players match sharp.

The Gaurs are slated to play a total of six friendly matches before flying back to Goa on 25th September ahead of their first game of the season against North East United on the 4th of October in Guwahati.