Category: News

I’m Not Someone Who Looks For An Easy Ride, Says Musa Mudde

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club’s Ugandan midfielder Musa Mudde has arrived in Kolkata to play the upcoming 2019/20 Calcutta Premier Division – A on Tuesday morning.

Known for his dogged displays in the middle of the park, Musa began his career in his native with Simba FC before turning out for the likes of Sofapaka FC (Kenya), Simba SC (Tanzania), AFC Leopards (Kenya) and Bandari FC (Kenya).

Musa last played for Gokulam Kerala FC where he joined ahead of their maiden I-League campaign in 2017, and captained the side in 2018/19 I-League.

“The club’s history fascinates me. I also wanted a new experience, in a new city. It will be an interesting experience for me.  I’m not someone who looks for an easy ride,” Musa told mohammedansportingindia.com.

“Mohammedan have a great dream and I want to make it a reality. The club’s dream is to win the Calcutta Football League and I hope to help them achieve this. I can’t say exactly what Mohammedan require to win the CFL. That’s something I’ll begin to work out from now onwards. We need to believe we can win the CFL if we are to do it. We will give it our best shot,” he added.

I still have a long way to go, says Lallianzuala Chhangte

NEW DELHI: What could a school-going-kid long for after a hectic day? A fancy sports shoe, might be a day out with parents, or maybe a play station, that too in his wildest dreams. But guess what a Mizo kid from a remote village dared to ask his mom?

Despite of hailing from a not-so-well-to-do family, he dared spread his wings, and asked his mom for permission of pursuing his dreams of becoming a professional footballer. Lalluanzuala Changte was just 14, four years short of earning his voting rights.

“I was in standard ten then,” Chhangte smiled. “I told my Mom about my dreams. I was desperate. Had the situation demanded, I would not have thought twice before moving out of Mizoram. But I could figure out that she was not at all happy,” Chhangte smiled.

“It is very hard to be a professional footballer from a village like ours. The biggest achievement has always been to play for the village team. My parents always wanted me to focus on studies. I had already represented my school, but wanted more,” Chhangte revealed.

He didn’t need to wait for long. Chhangte attended the DSK International Academy trials in Aizawl, moved on to Pune for the second phase of the trials. The rest is history.

‘THE GOAL CHANGED MY LIFE’

He went on to represent India U-19 in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers. The Senior team call-up for the SAFF Suzuki Championship 2015 followed, and he announced it with two super goals against Nepal.

“I can’t forget the moment. My first International goal against Nepal introduced me to Indian football,” Chhangte got emotional. “Everything around me changed so quickly. I was still in the DSK Academy, and was worried about a professional contract. But my life changed. People started noticing me.”

So much so, that maestro Sunil Chhetri lifted the young gun on his shoulder after his heroic performance.

“Playing alongside Chhetri-bhai has always been a great motivation. He took me by surprise when he lifted me on his shoulder. It was something like which I couldn’t think of even in my wildest dream,” Chhangte’s emotions took over.

After the Hero I-League 2015-16 with DSK Shivajians, he joined North East United FC on loan, and went back to the Pune-based club after the Hero ISL season wrapped up. Finally, he was picked by Delhi Dynamos in the Hero ISL draft before the 2017-18 season.

‘I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO’

“Coach Constantine tried me as a winger for the first time. I love playing in the wings. Dribbling and outpacing defenders on 1v1 is something I always cherish,” Chhangte, who started his career as a striker, narrated.

Chhangte admitted that he was ‘broken’ when he failed to make it to the final 23 for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. “I was broken, disappointed. But I realised sitting over that wouldn’t help. The moment motivated me. I realised that I hadn’t done enough. I needed to do more,” he pronounced.

Chhangte is currently sweating it hard at the National team preparatory camp for the Hero Intercontinental Cup next month.

“I have always dreamt of playing outside India. Playing abroad will help me turn into a better player. I’ll, hopefully, go for another trial at Viking FK after the recent National Team commitments get over,” Chhangte informed.

“But I know, I still have a long way to go. Every day I run an extra yard, take an extra shot in the training session. I want to improve, and be on that Indian squad for AFC Asian Cup China 2023.”

WE need to concentrate on improving ball possession, says Stimac

NEW DELHI: With the Indian Senior National Men’s Team assembling in Mumbai for the preparatory camp for the forthcoming Hero Intercontinental Cup, Head Coach Igor Stimac mentioned that he is “looking forward” to see how the boys have worked on their individual working programmes.

In an interview with AIFF media, Stimac, who coached Croatia to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, spoke at length about his plans in the camp, the response from the players, the “complicated process” of playing attractive football and much more. EXCERPTS:

How much are you looking forward to the camp?

I am eagerly waiting to get back to work. I miss my players and our daily work. I am looking forward to see how much they have done last few weeks with regards to the individual working programmes we provided to them.

How significant will the Hero Intercontinental Cup be in the team’s preparation for the World Cup Qualifiers from September?

It’s important we take the next step forward after beating Thailand on their home soil. Winning the Hero Intercontinental Cup would be great for us. But I am still not insisting on results. Instead, I would rather concentrate on improvement on ball possession, and movements without ball.

All our work has been chalked out concentrating on the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. But obviously, every game we win on the pathway will help us to further boost our confidence.

What will you be stressing on at the camp?

As usual, we will divide the camp into two parts. In the first few days, we will work on testing the players. We will follow that up with drawing up the precise working programme, which will be our second step.

In this second step, we are going to intensify aerobic, and explosive power work during our morning sessions, and utilise our evening sessions for working on our gameplan.

How has you experience been with the boys so far?

Till now, I am extremely delighted with their commitment and willingness to learn and progress on their technical and physical abilities. To become successful in playing an attractive brand of football involves a very complicated process of work. But I stay confident that we are going to make it happen together.

What would be your message to the fans?

I would like to use this opportunity to invite all our supporters to get behind our boys and be our 12th man in Ahmedabad July 7-19, 2019.

AIFF calls I-League clubs’ decision as “premature and unnecessary”

NEW DELHI: The AIFF reacting to the joint statement of I-League clubs feel that it is very premature and unnecessary to pre-judge any action of the AIFF, and be commenting on the AIFF Executive Committee meeting on July 3, 2019 in advance.

The AIFF as a custodian of Indian Football has always endeavoured to balance to the interest of all stakeholders, and the Hero I-League, and its clubs. To say that the future of Hero I-League and the clubs will not be taken into consideration for any future decisions of the AIFF would be unfair.

As a matter of fact, a decision regarding the Hero Indian Super League becoming a league were also discussed with AFC, and FIFA before it was given recognition, and even for any future decisions AFC and FIFA will be duly consulted. In fact, during the last AFC AGM in Paris, the AIFF asked the AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John to visit India specifically for Hero I-League issues.

Furthermore, while the decision of the AIFF Executive Committee cannot be pre-judged, it must also be borne in mind that AIFF has already spoken to its commercial partners FSDL about the concerns of the Hero I-League clubs.

It is surprising that the clubs have accused the AIFF President about not giving them any audience for their grievances. In fact, the only time they sought an audience was before the commencement of Hero Super Cup, where they were duly informed that the AIFF President will meet them any day between April 10-14, 2019, as the President had prior commitments for the FIFA Council Election on April 6 in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the Lok Sabha general elections.

Despite the assurance, the clubs did not meet the President, and rather prematurely pulled out of the Hero Super Cup, causing huge financial losses and negativity for a tournament for they had confirmed their participation. It must be mentioned that post pulling out of the Hero Super Cup no appointment has been sought by the Clubs till date.

As a custodian of Indian Football, the AIFF and the President are always happy to engage with all stakeholders including I-league Clubs for the betterment of Indian Football.

Needless to say, some club owners have taken to a vicious and malicious social media campaign against the AIFF and its President. We would like to caution the clubs to refrain from unnecessary accusations, and advice them to engage meaningfully for the betterment of Indian Football.

I-League clubs set for legal battle if AIFF announce ISL as top league

NEW DELHI: Seven I-League clubs met today in New Delhi to discuss future course of action in light of the latest developments in Indian football.

With media reports indicating that the ISL being announced as the top division league post an Executive committee meeting scheduled for 3rd July 2019, the I-League clubs are standing united stronger than ever.

East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, Minerva Punjab, Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC, and Gokulam Kerala FC have all decided to approach the Appropriate Courts for relief at the earliest as soon as any such decision announced by AIFF.

The refusal of the President of AIFF to meet the I-League clubs in spite of several requests and the subsequent vindictive actions specifically towards the I-League clubs, combined with the coercive and blackmailing attitude of FSDL towards AIFF by refusing to make payments pushes the game to an uncertain future.

I-League has been the national league since 1996 and carries the tradition of Indian Football with it. This tradition has helped create what football in India stands today and has been the torch bearer of Indian Football. I-League has been the sole driving force in creating footballers and fans of the game in the country.

To be now told that the I-League will no longer be the TOP LEAGUE is completely unacceptable and illegal and the clubs pledge to fight this together as ONE FOOTBALL FAMILY which carries the tradition of Indian football.

Jharkhand put four past Arunachal to clinch the Sub Junior Girls’ National Championship title

CUTTACK: Jharkhand put four past Arunachal Pradesh in the final of the Hero Sub Junior Girls’ National Football Championship at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday (20 June, 2019).

Soni Munda and Basanti Lakra scored a brace each to help Jharkhand waltz to their first National Football Championship victory this season. Earlier this year, the state had also made it to the Final of the Hero Junior Girls’ NFC in Kolhapur where they lost to Himachal Pradesh.

Jharkhand got off to a quick start in the first half itself as they looked to use the width of the pitch to stretch the Arunachal defence. It took them only 15 minutes to break the deadlock, though.

Forward Soni Munda made the perfect run in between the two Arunachal centrebacks, as she was played into the box before she placed it past the keeper and into the net.

Arunachal tried to get their game going but the Jharkhand defence kept cutting them off in the final third. Soon, Jharkhand doubled their lead through Basanti Lakra, who only had to tap it into the empty net after Arunachal keeper Bumpasai Manyu collided with one of the attackers.

The Jharkhand defence was at the top of its game on the day as they neutralised the threat posed by the Arunachal duo of Simran Zeeba and Tallo Ana. The former, who is the captain of the North-eastern side, had even released the latter, who is the top scorer of the tournament, with an aerial through ball towards the end of the first half, but it was expertly cut out by the defence.

Jharkhand captain Salina Kumari came into her own in the second half, chasing down lost causes which led to the third goal of the evening. The left winger hounded after a stray ball that was somewhat equidistant between the two Arunachal centre backs and the goalkeeper. She managed to get to the ball before the onrushing keeper and cut past her to expose an empty goal.

While the angle was too tight for Salina, she simply squared it across the face of the goal for Lakra to tap it into an empty net and score her second of the game.

Arunachal did try to get some of their counter-attacks going through captain Simran Zeeba but the North-eastern side’s wingers Zila Kamchi and Bamang Yaro were played too narrow and were often crowded out by the Jharkhand midfield and defence.

The highest scorer of the tournament, Tallo Ana, was heavily marked and often had to drop deep into the midfield, in order to find space, which meant that Arunachal missed her goalscoring instinct up front.

Arunachal Pradesh Head Coach Kipa Bharat brought on Gumku Rani, while Ana operated in the hole. This freed up some space for the latter, who had the perfect opportunity to pull one back. With a little over 10 minutes of regulation time left on the clock, Rani played Ana through on goal, but the latter’s out-step shot lacked any venom, as Jharkhand keeper Jyotsna Bara slid in to claim the ball.

However, this push from Arunachal Pradesh came too late as they ran out of time. With just a few minutes of regulation time left, Soni Munda scored her brace, as she slipped the ball past the Arunachal keeper to make it four. There was no coming back from that, and Jharkhand ran away with their first National Football Championship title of the season.

Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh Reach Sub-Junior Girls’ National Football Championship Final

CUTTACK: Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh won Hero Sub-Junior Girls’ National Football Championship semifinal matches against Bihar and Gujarat respectively at the Barabati Stadium today (June 18, 2019) to set up the Final against each other.

While Jharkhand came back from two goals down to beat Bihar on penalties, Arunachal Pradesh produced a dominant display against Gujarat to make their way to the Final.

JHARKHAND COME FROM 2 GOALS BEHIND TO SNATCH VICTORY

Jharkhand 3 (4) [Sony Munda 39’, 90+1’, Salina Kumari 88’]

beat

Bihar 3 (3) [Lucky Kumari 33’, Pallavi Kumari 38’, 45+3’]

Jharkhand completed a thrilling victory over neighbours Bihar, as they pounced back in the last 10 minutes of the regulation time to overcome a two-goal deficit. While the match itself ended with a 3-3 scoreline, Jharkhand pipped it 4-3 on penalties.

It was a close start to the game as Jharkhand looked to take the early initiative passing it around. However, Bihar took the lead against the run of play, as Lucky Kumari broke free on the counter and plonked it over the keeper’s head.

They soon doubled that lead, when captain Pallavi Kumari tapped a square pass across the face of the goal into the net. However, Jharkhand took just a minute to pull one back, as Soni Munda ran on to a low cross and put it past the Bihar keeper.

Bihar captain Pallavi, however, ensured that her side headed into the tunnel with a two-goal lead at half time, as she nodded in a cross in the third minute of time added on at the end of the first hialf.

Jharkhand came hard at Bihar in the second half, and only got the fruits of their labour in the last couple of minutes of regulation time, when captain Salina Kumari pulled one back, before Soni Munda scored her second to level the scores at 3-3.

With the scores still level after Extra Time, Jharkhand went on to win it on penalties, as Sindhu Kumari and Sabara Khatun missed two early penalties to put Bihar on the back foot. While Sonam Kumari also missed the fourth penalty for Jharkhand, Modita Kujur converted their fifth to put them in the final.

ARUNACHAL DOMINATE GUJARAT

Gujarat 0

lost to

Arunachal Pradesh 4 (Tallo Ana 6’, 73’, 80’, Simran Zeeba 22’)

Arunachal Pradesh were dominant as ever against Gujarat, as Tallo Ana went on to score a hat-trick in a convincing win against Gujarat. With the three goals in this game, Ana moved her tally to 15 goals, the highest so far, in this edition of the tournament.

The North-eastern side got off the blocks early on, as Tallo Ana rounded off Gujarat goalkeeper Ankitaben Prajapati Thakor, before firing it into the net in the sixth minute.

Arunachal doubled their lead just before the water-break, when captain Simran Zeeba struck a long-range free-kick that sailed over the Gujarat keeper and into the net.

Gujarat did come out with more initiative in the second half, but they soon ran out of steam, and Arunachal capitalised on that, as Ana netted her second from a goalmouth melee.

The Arunachal striker put the proverbial cherry on top of the cake, when she dribbled past the Gujarat defence on the 80th minute and slotted it past the keeper to make it four.

Arunachal are now set to square-off against Jharkhand in the final on Thursday, June 20, at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack. The match will kick-off at 03:30 PM.

ATK Ropes In A League Sensation Roy Krishna

KOLKATA: Fiji National football captain and the most sought after striker in A League Roy Krishna has signed with India Super League club ATK on a year-long deal.

This was revealed today by the former Wellington Phoenix marksman, who will join his new club in August.

Krishna, who is currently in Fiji on a break before joining the national camp, was honoured with the Johnny Warren medal as the best player in the A League last season and also picked up the golden boot award with 18 goals, decided to leave Phoenix last month for a new challenge and greater financial security for his family.

“I have taken my time to make what I feel is the right decision for me and my family,” said Krishna, who spent five and a half seasons at the Wellington club. “ATK presents a great new opportunity for me in a new league.”

The 32-year-old said he was impressed with what he had seen and heard about the club, its culture and it’s fan base.

“140 years ago, our forefathers left Kolkata on board the Leonidas in search of new opportunities in Fiji. I feel like we’ve come a full circle as I head back to where it all began for them,” he added.

ATK head coach, Antonio Lopez Habas is excited about the new recruit. “Roy Krishna is our first international striker signing of the season. He is a prolific striker with leadership skills under his belt. He will add attack and variety to the team and his confidence will give an edge. I am very happy to have him in ATK,”

Krishna started his career with the New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) side Waitakere United from Fijian local outfit Labasa FC in January 2008. He started playing for Wellington Phoenix FC in 2014.

Bengaluru FC sign midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh

Bengaluru: Bengaluru Football Club have completed the signing of former player Eugeneson Lyngdoh on a one-year deal, the club announced on Monday. The 32-year-old midfielder once again joins the Indian Super League champions after a two-year stint with Kolkata-side ATK, who had signed the Shillong-born playmaker during the ISL draft in 2017.

A favourite among the supporters, Lyngdoh first joined Bengaluru FC in 2014 after stints with Meghalaya’s Shillong Lajong and Rangdajied United. Going on to become a vital part of the side under Ashley Westwood and then under Albert Roca, Lyngdoh scored some crucial goals for the Blues en route to winning three major trophies apart from helping the club to a maiden AFC Cup final in 2016.

“Ever since I first signed for Bengaluru FC I knew I was making the right decision. Now that I’m here again I want to relive those moments and create new ones. I’m looking forward to being back on the pitch and fighting for titles once again,” said an elated Lyngdoh who becomes the third Indian signing for the season after youngsters Prabhsukhan Singh Gill and Suresh Wangjam.

Bengaluru coach, Carles Cuadrat said he was delighted at having Lyngdoh back in BFC colours. “I have worked with Eugeneson before and I know the kind of influence he has on the dressing room. He is a good professional with good habits and I have no doubt about the fact that he will help the side improve and more specifically, the youngsters on the squad. He knows how we like to play, so we already have a head start with him,” said Cuadrat.

At Bengaluru, Lyngdoh scored 16 goals in 74 appearances in three seasons while winning the Federation Cup in 2014-15 and 2016-17 and the I-League in 2015-16. The creative midfielder even bagged the AIFF Player of the Year award for 2015, the second BFC player to claim the honour after Sunil Chhetri.

India U-17 Women’s team to travel to Hong Kong for exposure tour

NEW DELHI: With the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup slated to be held in India in 2020, the Indian Women’s U-17 National team will be travelling to Hong Kong for an exposure tour on June 16 (Sunday).

The girls who have been training in Goa since first week of May 2019 under former India International Alex Ambrose will be playing four matches, the first of which is against Hong Kong U-23 on June 21. Besides, they will also play another with Hong Kong U-18, and two matches against club teams.

Although the side has played a number of matches against local teams, Ambrose believes the matches in Hong Kong will give his girls valuable experience to test themselves against tough opponents.

“The matches in Hong Kong will serve as a good experience for the girls. Almost 40 per cent of them are new to the National team set-up, and are still getting used to the flow,” Ambrose stated. “Playing competitive teams will help acclimatise them, and gain an understanding of International football.”

He further went on to state that such matches will help test the character of the players. “It will also help us coaches identify the players who have a strong mentality, and tend to take the right decisions even when they are under pressure,” he explained.

Ambrose maintained that the key objective remains to prepare the team for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup next year. “Learning never stops, and that applies to everyone. My players have shown interest, character and the dedication required to be a part of such a big tournament. The future looks good if they keep working hard,” he quipped.

INDIA’S MATCHES IN HONG KONG:

June 21: India vs Hong Kong U23.

June 23: India vs Taipo TBC.

June 27: India vs Citizen.

June 29: India vs Hong Kong U18.

The squad members stay as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Tanu, Manisha, Manju.

DEFENDERS: Nirmala Devi Phanjoubam, Kritina Devi Thounaojam, Nisha, Naketa, Shilky Devi Hemam, Martina Thokchom.

MIDFIELDERS: Daisy Castro, Priyanka Devi Naorem, Astam Orain, Anju, Priyanka Sujeesh Pottekkat, Poonam, Aveka Singh, Mariyammal Balamurgan, Karen Estrocio, Kiran, Antrika.

FORWARDS: Sumati Kumari, Lynda Kom Serto, Amisha Baxla, Sai Sanke.

HEAD COACH: Alex Ambrose.