Why North Eastern people and Bengalis are crazy over football

As FIFA U-17 World Cup will be starting today I prepared a post on most frequently asked question on this blog. ” Why North Eastern and Bengalis are considered to be most talented players in the country.

This quality of bongs can be owned to the fact that the Bongs had started playing football a really really long time back, especially if you compare it with the people from rest part of the country.
In fact this game is very popular at Goa, Kerala and almost among all the seven sister states of the North-East.

The reasons why bongs and the game of football connect so good are,

  1. The game became popular very early due to the influence of the British.
  2. Bongs eat a lot of protein, such as fish and meat. The game of football requires a lot of strength and stamina. So once you find yourself (as a kid) playing a game better than the others, you start loving the game, and interestingly, you follow it till you are an adult.
  3. Once you start playing football, there is an inborn superiority developed within you, either explicit or implicit, and you realize how challenging the game is. Many of you may not explicitly show that (which is a good habit), but you tend to play the game more compared to the other sports.
  4. A Bong always goes good with classic, It may be literature, music or sports.
  5. Football is in fact, an enjoyable and a popular game around the world, It’s just that the Bongs were the first who tasted the game before any other state in the country.

Not only bengalis but keralites, goanese and north eastern people are all crazy with football. In order to know why bengalis are crazy with football you have to dive a bit into the history of football in India. Football was introduced to India by British soldiers in the mid-nineteenth century. It spread because of the efforts of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari. So you see that football is in our genes.
One of the world’s oldest professional football club was established in the city in the year 1889.

In 1911, Mohun Bagan defeated the Brits(The Yorkshire Regiment) 2-1 to win the first major title.

They played bare footed against a much better opponent. It was like a mini freedom and since then football became hugely popular with the Bengalis. Later in 1920, Mohun Bagan was split to form a new club East Bengal resulting in a tremendous rivalry which is strong still now.

These 3 clubs are still going strong.

East Bengal is supported by the bengals or the people whose roots are in Bangladesh. On the other hand Mohun Bagan is supported by the people whose roots lied in West Bengal. Mohammedan Sporting was formed in Calcutta in 1891 with the patronage of the Muslim population. Before Independence Mohammedan Sporting repeatedly destroyed British teams to earn laurels and hence received support from all Indians. So you see football united us back then.

If you look into history of bengal, you can see why football became popular. When British ruled India, Mohun Bagan gave us the glimmer of hope by defeating the British. East Bengal was craved out of Mohun Bagan and was associated with the partition of Bengal. Mohammedan was formed on religious lines but soon won over the hearts of all Bengalis by giving tremendous performances. To Bengalis, football is  a religion, it is an emotion.

 

An unknown historic incident: Mohun Bagan first defeated the british in 1911 and thereby winning their first title. It was like a sense of freedom and independence. At that time few people asked “when will we truly gain our independence? when will our flag be flying high? “ To which Ghosto Paul, the legendary Mohun Bagan stopper replied “when Mohun Bagan will win their second title then we will gain freedom”. They went on to won the title in 1947.

You see football is freedom.

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