Wednesday, 23 April 2014

VIDEO - I-League: Dempo SC 2-4 Bengaluru FC - Goals!

Here a Bengaluru FC feature with all the six goals scored in the I-League encounter between Dempo SC and Bengaluru FC played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Monday, April 21, which Bengaluru FC won 4-2 and sealed their I-League title triumph.

Number of Firsts for I-League champions Bengaluru FC & Indian Football!

Since coming on board as the first Club through a bidding process in the I-League, Jindal Steel Works (JSW) owned Bengaluru FC have not only ticked all the boxes expected of them, but have shown the path ahead for Indian club football, as to how it should be done, both on, and more importantly, off the field.

While scripting a new chapter in Indian football history by claiming the I-League title in their debut season courtesy a 4-2 triumph over Dempo SC on the road on Monday (April 22, 2014), off the pitch BFC have given the English Premier League crazy youth football fanatics of the Nation something of their own.

From dishing out Match day Programme much in line with Football Programme which is a must on matchdays in the United Kingdom, to tying up with a local pub in the Garden City (Arbor Brewing Company – Pioneers of Craft Beer since 1995), the I-League champions picked up a thing or two from the most popular League in the Planet and the results have been nothing short of spectacular.

Probably for the first time in Indian football, the Club with all its aforementioned initiatives has been able to attract a large chunk of Football followers who previously were more attracted towards the Chelsea's and the Manchester United's than the Dempo's, East Bengal's and all other Indian Clubs.

The never-heard-before in Indian football chants of “When the Blues go marching in”, on the lines of the iconic tune "When the Saints go marching in," to never-seen-before fan marches on match days are perfect testimony of the type of crowds who have thronged the Bangalore Football Stadium; in numbers.

The average attendance, as provided by the Club, is 7,500, the highest crowd for any Football match in Bangalore in over 25 years.

Women football fans have also turned up in good proportion for BFC home games, a fact that again has been by and large alien to football in the country.

And that's not it. These fans travel along with the team for away matches too. It was during Bengaluru FC's Federation Cup do-or-die match against East Bengal where some 50 odd spectators bedazzled one and all in Manjeri.

More commendable, the Club from South also organised travel for their fans to attend some of the away matches. Even Bengaluru's title clinching game was witnessed by 500 fans in Goa.

"I've seen record turnouts in Kerala. The gathering in Manjeri also needs to be attributed to the fact that the place is Football starved. But I've never seen something like this before live. This happens in EPL matches," senior journalist Jafar Khan, a local had commented while covering the match.

"They are crazily amazing," is how Kunaal Majgaonkar, the club's Media Manager described the BFC aficionados.

"They decide a place, gather and come chanting and marching straight to the stands. It's mind-blowing, I can tell you. The fans cheer the same way for the entire 90 minutes. The chants, slogans…it’s electric." Majgaonkar, himself a journalist, added.

This chant, when sung by a crowd, often starts at a very slow tempo, around 70 beats per minute. The next verse is then dramatically sped up to somewhere around 140 beats per minute.

"All our Matches are televised live at the Arbor Brewing Company which is our official home pub. Around 100-120 people gather wearing blue and yelling their lungs out in front of giant screens. The Players also pay a visit after home games." Majgaonkar further informed.

The Match Day Programme, given to spectators before a match for free contains the Team information, statistics, chants, a column from Coach Ashley Westwood, flashback and top scorer count.

Other absolute firsts on match days include a corporate box, much like the hospitality boxes in Cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL). High-end tickets of Rs 500 laced with refreshments, again like the IPL, always on the go. And for the first-time ever, the Home-matches witnessed an Emcee and not just an announcer.

For the fans, there are open training sessions where fans can meet and greet the Players. Then there was the BFC day out where 750 cohorts registered for a chance to come play on BFC's home turf where they were 'coached' by the Players themselves.

The 'Thank You' banner from the whole squad after the final home game perhaps underlined the contribution of fans in BFC's voyage.

"I would like to say a special thanks to the fans who made Bangalore a special place to play for all of us," Head Coach Ashley Westwood was quoted as saying after the win on Monday.

"From Day I, we have been very particular about doing the basic things right on the Match day. I don't think we have done something very special. These are things you as a fan expect in your favourite Club’s Home games," Club consultant Mandar Tamhane told AIFF Media.

"What has been special is the fact that we have owners who understand all these needs and are willingly to cater to them. Our CEO (Mr. Mustafa Ghouse) was a Tennis Player of repute and has represented India at the highest level in Davis Cup. The Jindals are football mad people, die hard Arsenal fans. They have travelled across the Globe and been to matches at the UK. So all these Match day Programme, and other ideas have been enthusiastically accepted by them," Tamhane added.

"Player's interaction with fans is also very important. Before we got rolling our Players went to Malls, Schools to interact with the people of Bangalore. We have to make them known faces like in Cricket to become icons and have a mass-appeal."

The BFC Bazaar is perhaps the best example where fans were pleasantly surprised seeing players selling personalised Club's merchandise.

Tamhane summed it up by informing that in future more such fan engagement endeavours are in the offing, "We are planning to do for community development as well as fan engagement. Things such as BFC Care and BFC Awards are in the pipeline."

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

VIDEO - Hyundai: Your chance to be there with Iker Casillas or Kaká!

Here the video to the Hyundai contest to be there with Iker Casillas or Kaká. You could win a photoshoot with one of two of the world's most popular football stars in be there with Casillas in Madrid or with Kaká in Milan.

Here the link to the contest: Be there with Casillas & Kaká

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

EPL side Manchester United fire manager David Moyes!

In the end it didn't come as a big surprise when on Tuesday, April 22 morning it became public that struggling English Premier League giants Manchester United had fired their manager David Moyes after not even 10 months in-charge of the Red Devils.

Moyes had joined United on a six year contract last summer from Everton FC on recommendation of fellow Scotsman and longtime Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson. But somehow it didn't click and the club is having its worst season in decades with no trophy, no UEFA Champions League football next season, maybe not even playing in UEFA Europa League and number of losses, which is unusual for the club.

Manchester United in a statement on its website wrote
Manchester United has announced that David Moyes has left the Club.

The Club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.

Though the club thanked their now former manager, it was time for a change as the club was simply too big to handle for David Moyes with results not going the clubs way and news coming out of the dressing room that players wanted to leave the club, if Moyes continued to be the manager.

Until the arrival or appointment of a new manager, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs would be the interim manager of the club with speculation ripe around who could succeed Moyes with names like Louis van Gaal, Jürgen Klopp and others making the rounds.

After the failure of the Moyes experiment, Manchester United will have to carefully chose a manager who can cope and handle the pressure of such a big club.

VIDEO - AFC Cup: Pune FC 2-0 Kitchee SC - Match Highlights!

Tonight, Pune FC played Kitchee SC from Hongkong in their final 2014 AFC Cup - Group H encounter at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune, which Pune FC won 2-0. Here the match highlights of PFC's first-ever AFC Cup victory.