Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hero I-League Qualifier 2020 to get underway on October 8

AIFF Media 

The Hero I-League Qualifier 2020 is all set to kick-start the 2020-21 football season at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium, in Kalyani, West Bengal, as five clubs will battle it out for a single qualification spot, beginning on Thursday, October 8, 2020. 

The Qualifiers are set to be played in a round-robin format, with the following five teams facing each other once
  • ARA FC
  • Bhawanipore FC
  • Garhwal FC
  • FC Bengaluru United
  • Mohammedan SC
The team that finishes at the top of the table after matchday five, enters the 2020-21 Hero I-League. 

“The Hero I-League qualifiers are an important event as it gives a number of teams the chance to qualify for this pan-India league,” said AIFF Leagues CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar. 

“It is unfortunate that these teams missed out on the opportunity to gain promotion last season due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “That is why this is a unique opportunity for them to make it to the Hero I-League this season. Wishing them all the very best in their endeavors.”


Monday, August 24, 2020

Bengaluru sign Ajith Kumar from Chennai City

Bengaluru FC Media 

Bengaluru FC have signed left-back Ajith Kumar on an undisclosed fee from Chennai City FC, the club announced on Saturday. The 23-year-old joins on a three-year deal, as Carles Cuadrat’s side add depth to their squad ahead of the 2020-21 Indian Super League campaign.

Having been selected through trials into the Chennai City FC system in early 2018, Ajith played a crucial role in the South Indian side’s I-League triumph the following year, appearing in every one of his side’s 20 games in the 2018-19 campaign.

“I am thrilled to have become a Bengaluru FC player. This is a club I admire a lot and while I did have a few options to choose from, Bengaluru was top of that list at every stage of my decision making. The chance to share a dressing with a legend like Sunil Chhetri who I hope to learn so much from, and so many of the national team boys is very exciting for me,” said Ajith. 

Ajith also said that while there would be pressure on him to perform, he hopes to adapt quickly. “I’ve watched a lot of Bengaluru FC games and have a fair idea of how the coach likes to play. I am happy to be part of any plan that he has for me. One thing is for sure, I will be giving one hundred percent every time I am on the pitch.”

The Chennai-born full-back faced off against the Blues in a Super Cup quarterfinal earlier in 2019, putting on a solid show down the left flank as Chennai City FC secured a 2-1 win.

“We have been pursuing Ajith for some time now, tracking his progress in the I-League and his performances with Chennai in the AFC Cup. He is a bright young footballer, and we believe that with the right guidance he has all the qualities to fit into our system,” said club CEO Mandar Tamhane.

Bengaluru FC are scheduled to begin their Indian Super League campaign in November, with the season set to be played behind closed doors in Goa. The JN Stadium, in Fatorda has been designated as the Blues’ ‘home’ venue for the duration of the tournament. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Former Karnataka junior state footballer AL Raj passes away

AL Raj, more popular known as Charles, former Karnataka Junior state footballer expired yesterday early morning at his residence at CIL Quarters, Munireddypalya.Bengaluru. He was 59 years old and suffering from diabetes. 

Raj played Karnataka in U-19 BC.Roy Trophy at Goa in 1983. He played in the forward position for his employer CIL and played for them till 1991. Before coming to CIL, he played for then famous team Jupiter FC. 

Raj left his wife and two sons. His burial took place today 2.30 pm at  Kallapally Christian Cemetery. 

KSFA, BDFA, and Referees Committee condole death of AL Raj. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

T Puttaswamy, state Santosh Trophy winner, passes away

The winning member of the 1967 Santosh Trophy Karnataka state in Cuttack, Orissa, died at his residence in Chamarajpet yesterday. Putta, as he was popularly known in the football circle was 79 years old. 

Puttaswamy had a long career with HAL for that lasted almost two decades. Later, he served as a BDFA member, also, he was a Governing Board Member of the KSFA. As a curator, he played a key role of the Bangalore Football Stadium’s natural turf ground. 

He played in the Pentangular Tournament, Cylon along with Krishnaji Rao, AD.Nagendra, Amjad khan, and Muthu (goalkeeper) in 1968. He represented South India against the Russian visiting team at Bangalore and Madras in 1966. Puttaswamy represented the then Mysore state team 6 times in Santhosh Trophy. 

The KSFA and BDFA condoled the death of the player and prayed for his soul to rest in peace.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Bengaluru FC conferred two-star Academy status by AFC

Bengaluru FC Media 

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has conferred JSW Bengaluru Football Club’s Youth Development Program with a two-star Academy status, in addition to its endorsement of the All India Football Federation with full membership of its AFC Elite Youth Scheme. Bengaluru FC are the only professional football club to gain the recognition, with Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy being the other.

“We are delighted to confer to the AIFF the AFC Elite Youth Scheme full membership status and the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and JSW Bengaluru FC Academy the two-star Academy status,” stated Dato Windsor John, General Secretary of the AFC.

The status, which is subject to re-evaluation after three years as per Article 6 of the AFC Elite Youth Scheme Regulations and Guidelines, has been granted to both entities for their ‘truly remarkable’ academies, according to Kushal Das, General Secretary of the All India Football Federation.

“I would like to congratulate Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy and JSW Bengaluru FC Academy for receiving the two-star status. Their academies are truly remarkable and have been promising ones to deliver future stars of the sport,” said Das.

The Bengaluru FC Grassroots Development Program, set across Bengaluru and Bellary, has been in operation since the establishment of its BFC Soccer Schools Program in 2014. Over the years, BFC Soccer Schools has added as many as 20 centres across three states, expanding to Maharashtra and Gujarat, in addition to Karnataka. 

Further to this, the club has added the U7, U9 and U11 day-boarding academies in Bengaluru, the club’s U13 and U15 Residential setup in Bellary, the U18 and Bengaluru FC Reserve team and the most recent Elite Program, which brings the best children from BFC Soccer Schools under one roof. Several graduates of the club’s Academy now ply their trade with the first team, a pathway that has proven successful for the club’s Youth Development program.

“We are very happy to be given this recognition, and it only increases our responsibility towards Youth Development in the country. We have always maintained that the progress of our Grassroots program and Academy team is a marker to the success of the club, and we look forward to setting the benchmark higher in the coming years,” said club CEO Mandar Tamhane.