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PM Narendra Modi congratulates East Bengal for completing 100 years, says ‘it’s a milestone for Indian sport’

PM Narendra Modi hailed the football and sports-loving culture of West Bengal and wished more success for the century old club East Bengal.

Updated: Aug 01, 2020 22:40 IST

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times New Delhi

PM Narendra Modi (PTI)

Terming the occasion a milestone for Indian sport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday congratulated Kolkata football club East Bengal for completing 100 years.

PM Modi hailed the football and sports-loving culture of West Bengal and wished more success for the century old club.

“Best wishes to generations of footballers, members and of course supporters on the centenary of @eastbengalfc. This is a milestone for Indian sport, and for the football traditions and sports-loving culture of West Bengal. May the East Bengal Mashal forever illuminate the Maidan!” tweeted PM Modi.

 



Born out of adversity in 1920, East Bengal grew on to become one of India’s most successful clubs while forming an epic rivalry with the 131-year-old Mohun Bagan, whose tent lies few metres away.

But without a sponsor the club is struggling to follow Mohun Bagan into the top-tier Indian Super League.

Bhaichung Bhutia, one of the most decorated players of Indian football, said ISL’s “branding will only go up” by the inclusion of his former club.

“As an East Bengal fan, player, person, we all like to see East Bengal play the top tier league in the country which is ISL right now. We want to see East Bengal in ISL, everybody should work towards that and it should be our aim.

“But if you are not in the ISL this year, if East Bengal missed out and they (Football Sports Development Limited) are not increasing the teams, and we don’t get an investor, which we want, then we got to accept things and keep trying for the future,” Bhutia said.

(With PTI inputs)

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