Selasa, 31 Juli 2012

Interview with Arthur Papas (India Under-22/Pailan Arrows coach)

Australian Arthur Papas made an impressive start as India Under-22 national team coach at the Under-22 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in which India were drawn in Group A along with the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, Turkmenistan and Lebanon. I caught-up with the young Australian after a strong campaign in Muscat, which sadly did not have a happy end for India and before he joins the Pailan Arrows as their new head coach.

The loss in the final game against Oman was surely heartbreak. What did you feel afterwards?

It was a natural reaction to feel an initial emotion of sadness as with 36 minutes to go in the final game we were still in a strong position to qualify for the finals. From here it unravelled and the manner in which the game ended left us all disappointed but in saying that it really was the only game I can say we were convincingly beaten by a better team on the day.

After this initial reaction though my only thoughts centred around providing a supportive figure to the playing group as they were hurt considerably and the job of a coach in these times is to provide comfort and perspective to his players. This group over the course of a month had developed such a strong sense of unity and what was important was that during this moment after the game we still maintained a collective spirit because professional football is full of ups and downs. Therefore, the most important thing is that you can realise that above all else you have given your utmost to the team and I am comfortable about the process in which this team evolved and most importantly that their characters are of such a high quality.

What did you think about the overall performance of your team, the India Under-22s, in the qualifiers?

Overall our performances were very positive when you take into account all the variables we were confronted with. As a team we received much respect throughout the tournament externally but most importantly we found a belief amongst ourselves of what can be achieved when every person involved is moving in the same direction. Our collective discipline, spirit, unity and confidence grew the longer we stayed together and I am certain the players have learned many valuable lessons that hopefully they can continue to refer to over the course of their careers.

I will never be able to say I was completely satisfied because although we were the lowest ranked nation in the group by some way I came with the mindset that we could qualify. Like I have mentioned with 35 minutes to go in the final game this was still a possibility, in the future I would hope that the pressure of dealing with that last game will result in a further development of the playing group because they need more and more of these situations under pressure to further progress on an international level.

Positively surprised that the boys adopted so quickly to you and your style of coaching?

Pleasantly surprised because of course there was always going to be a question mark on whether they could adopt the differences in the style of play we sought. At first there was some trepidation from the playing group because the message was about building up from the goalkeeper, keeping the ball on the ground and playing a possession style of football. However, the main ingredient was to maintain a consistent message at all times whether that be in the training exercises, practice matches, team meetings, etc because this way it becomes ingrained and the players become more confident in this message because of its repetition and consistency.

There were times for example in the practice matches where errors were made when building up but when this occurred there was never a strong reaction from the bench but rather a supportive message which reinforced the football idea. On the contrary when the easy option of playing long was taken this was the moment there would be a strong reaction because the football we wanted to play requires players to take initiative and not seek the easy option of kicking the ball long. I kept saying to the playing group that you all thought I was crazy when on my first day when I outlined the way we would work but the longer we stayed together I really felt the playing group brought in to this style of football and the feedback received supports the process.

What has been your impression of Indian football in the first few weeks you have worked in India?

Indian football is in the midst of some very major developments and I am pleased to have joined at a time when fundamental change is taking place. I can only speak glowingly about my experiences so far but in general am still not in a position to comment on the overall state of Indian football until I have spent more time in the country. I do know though that the players have the correct attitudes, desire and intention to improve and are very open to the different coaching and playing styles.

There are always areas that need improvement and in terms of the individuals there needs to be a high emphasis placed on the basic technical elements, their game intelligence as well as improving the areas off the field which at top level can play a big part meaning their diets, recovery, and habits of being a professional athlete. At the moment myself, Scott O'Donell, Colm Toal, Wim Koevermans and of course Rob Baan have the task of educating as many Indian's who are passionate about playing a role in the long-term success of Indian football because these are the people in the future that are the real lifeblood of the football in India.

One of your boys, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was on a trial-cum-training at EPL side Wigan Athletic. Your thoughts on that?

My thoughts are that as an experience this is a fantastic opportunity for Gurpreet, he is still a young goalkeeper and normally this position begins to mature a little bit later than the outfield player. In my time with Gurpreet he has shown a real willingness to learn and what is important is that this is just one of the many ways he continues to look to develop himself because it stands as one week in a whole year that he spends at Wigan so imperative is that he keeps receiving the correct coaching, match experience every week consistently to reach his full potential.

Now you take-over the Pailan Arrows as their new coach. What's the aim in the I-League this season?

Our aim again has a double edged sword because the facts remain we are still a young team full of some of India's most talented youngsters competing in a senior professional league that is growing at a very quick rate, especially in regards to the type of foreigners entering the league. It's still imperative that the football style we bring to the league is what we consider the best in terms of developing the players both individually and collectively. In turn I have a clear vision that in the long-term this is also the best way to achieve results and they really go hand in hand.

I had a similar experience in Newcastle (Australia) where in the off-season I assembled a development team to play in the local senior state league and with an average age of 19 we stayed near the top of the league for the duration of my time there. Most important though was that we kept our best young players involved at the highest level possible for 11 months of the year.

There's no denying we need to improve on last year's showing in the I-League and I'm very confident that we will be able to do this.

Sunil Chhetri @SCP: Do as much as I can!

India captain Sunil Chhetri took part in an autograph session of his club Sporting Clube de Portugal at Lisbon's coolest tube station at Baixa-Chiado on Tuesday evening. The hundreds of fans who turned out to catch a glance of the new Alvalade arrival certainly kept the Indian star busy, but Sunil Chhetri's Kolkata experience surely helped him as he proved keen to answer a variety of questions from the local media.

Sunil Chhetri spoke to SCP media on the sidelines of the fan interaction.

Will you stay with the reserve team for now?

Yes, exactly. As I have already said, for a player like me who comes from a country like India it is very difficult and I can see that now. The training with the reserve team (Sporting 'B') is also very intense, so right now I am trying my best to give everything that I can.

Do you have aspirations to get into the first team?

Well, to be honest that isn't in my mind right now. Like I just said, it is also very competitive in the reserve team and it isn't easy for me as part of that team either. My first objective is to become something in the reserve team and to just do as much as I can. It really isn't easy in the reserve team right now, so for me thinking about the first team is still too far away. We need to be realistic and I am more focused on becoming a good member of the reserve team first.

Has the team coach had a talk with you?

Yes he (Oceano Andrade da Cruz ) has! He was very kind and very encouraging. The first thing that he told me to do was to get comfortable over here (in Portugal), to try to be happy and to do my best in training.

What are your thoughts on your teammates from the first team?

I haven't had much interaction with the first team. They train at different times then us. I have talked to them a couple of times and they have all been very nice, but the guys from the reserve team have also been very nice and very helpful. They are all open with me and they have all made me welcome, so I really thank them for that. They are all very young, most of them even younger than me.

You were supposed to be with the national team for a few games. What happened?

We have a very important tournament for India coming up (Nehru Cup), which starts on the 22nd of August. The Club has already been told about it, so I will act according to whatever decision Sporting makes. I am sure that everybody will go through FIFA's rules and regulations, so when I am allowed to leave the Sporting squad I will go and join the (India) team.

Exclusive PHOTOs from Sunil Chhetri's SCP autograph signing session

Here are exclusive photos from India captain Sunil Chhetri alongside Sporting Clube de Portugal 'A' team goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck, who were the stars of an autograph session at Lisbon's coolest tube station at Baixa-Chiado. Several hundred fans waited patiently for Sunil and Marcelo's autograph and photos!

And further dozens of journalists including TV stations also were there for Sunil Chhetri's first public appearance as a Sporting player.

2012 Kingfisher Corporate 5s starts in September

The 12th edition of the Kingfisher Corporate 5s, which is a five a-side Futsal tournament for corporate India, will be held across five cities from September 2012 onwards. Bangalore-based sports management company SPT India will once again organise the Kingfisher Corporate 5s in the cities of Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

Those corporate teams interested to play in the tournament will have to pay an entry fee to participate. For a new Men's team that fee is Rs 16,000 +taxes, for a Men's team which has previously participated it is Rs 14,500 +taxes and for Women's teams it is Rs 10,000 +taxes.

The dates for three of the venues have been released

Bangalore: September 1/2

New Delhi: September 22/23

Mumbai: October 13/14

The dates for Hyderabad and Pune will be released later.

For more details contact the organisers under !

India Camp for Nehru Cup to be held at Jaypee Greens

The Indian national team camp for the Platinum Jubilee Nehru Cup will kick-off at the Jaypee Greens Atlantis - The Club in Greater Noida from tomorrow. The venue was finalised after a meeting between officials from Jaypee Greens and the AIFF at Football House.

Here is what I had written earlier: India Camp set to be held at Greater Noida's Jaypee Greens .

"All India Football Federation has never compromised when it comes to providing facilities to its footballers. National Coach Wim Koevermans had inspected the facilities himself and as the Campus provides excellent facilities which are conducive for good football, we felt it best to organise our Camp in India's finest international standards sporting arena at Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida,' AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.

"We are also looking at a long term association with them for future National Team camps," Kushal Das added.

Koevermans complemented Das when he said, "The facilities at Jaypee Greens are very good!"

Koevermans has already named 37 players for the preparatory-and-selection camp including seven players who did duty for India in the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers in Muscat, Oman.

The 2012 Nehru Cup kicks-off on August 22 and the final is slated to be held on September 2.

INDIA Probables

Arindam Bhattacharya (Mohun Bagan AC), Subrata Pal (Prayag United SC), Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (Dempo SC), Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar SC), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (East Bengal Club)

Nirmal Chettri (Mohun Bagan AC), Nicolau Colaco (Salgaocar SC), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers SC), Raju Eknath Gaikwad (East Bengal Club), Souvik Ghosh (Pailan Arrows), Nallappan Mohanraj (Pune FC), Syed Rahim Nabi (Mohun Bagan AC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh (Prayag United SC), Gurjinder Kumar Singh (Pune FC), Gurwinder Singh (East Bengal Club), Irungbam Khelemba Singh (Mohun Bagan AC)

Joaquim Abranches (Dempo SC), Denson Devadas (Mohun Bagan AC), Francis Fernandes (Salgaocar SC), Alwyn George (Pailan Arrows), Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal Club), Adil Ahmed Khan (Sporting Clube de Goa), Rocus Lamare (Salgaocar SC), Clifford Miranda (Dempo SC), Gilbert Oliviera (Salgaocar SC), Anthony Pereira (Dempo SC), Sanju Pradhan (East Bengal Club), Jewel Raja Sheikh (Mohun Bagan AC), Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal Club), Baldeep Singh (Prayag United SC), Ongnam Milan Singh (Pailan Arrows),

Sunil Chhetri (Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B'), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Pune FC), Manandeep Singh (East Bengal Club), Robin Singh (East Bengal Club), Sushil Kumar Singh (Shillong Lajong FC)

Wim Koevermans (Head Coach), Savio Medeira (Assistant Coach), Marcus Pacheco (Goalkeeper Coach)

1948 London Olympics: The Day India lost to France in football

Today 64 years ago on July 31 at the 1948 London Olympics a young, vibrant Indian national football team took on France at the Lynn Road Stadium in Ilford, London in the first round of the Olympic football competition. The French Equipe Tricolore won 2-1, but the Indians won the hearts of the public with their display though also missing two penalties in the match otherwise an upset could have been possible.

On this historic day which was the first highlight of Team India on the international football stage, we all dream of seeing India one day in action again in the football competition at an Olympic Games.

We all hope it will be sooner rather then later...


First Round - Ilford, London

India 1-2 France - Goals: 0-1 Courdin (30'), 1-1 S. Raman (70'), 1-2 Strapee (89').

INDIA: K.V. Varadaraj, Taj Mohammed, Sailendra Nath Manna, S.A. Basheer, Talimeren Ao, Mahabir Prasad, Robi Das, Ramachandra Balaram Parab, Sahu Mewalal, Ahmed Khan, S. Raman

Senin, 30 Juli 2012

5 Boys selected at Bajaj Allianz Junior Football Camp Season 3!

Five talented youngsters - Akshay Sharma (Chandigarh), Jibin Devassy (Kerala), Lalremruata (Aizwal), Akash Mandal (Kolkata) and Gobinda Kar (Burdwan) have been selected amongst the 135 finalists in Pune from across the country to represent India at the international Allianz Junior Football Camp to be held in Munich, Germany in association with FC Bayern Munich in August 2012.

Meanwhile the three most promising players from each of the teams - Chandigarh Warriors, Delhi Dribblers, Kerala Komets, Pune Phantoms, Hyderabad Havoks, Bangalore Burners, Mumbai Movers plus the East and Northeast - were awarded cash prizes worth Rs. 50,000, Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 15,000 respectively on the basis of their performance during the activity.

Three most promising players representing Mumbai were awarded cash prizes, as follows

Sohail Khatri - Rs. 50,000
Ansari Uzair - Rs.25,000
Atharva Kapse - Rs. 15,000

The winners in Pune were selected on the basis of their football skills by an eminent panel of judges comprising of Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva from Churchill Brothers SC and Japanese midfielder of Indian origin Arata Izumi of Pune FC. In the East zone finale, the jury comprised of Anjan Kumar Mitra (Honorary Secretary, Mohun Bagan) and Kalyan Chaubey, former India goalkeeper and Current Head of Youth development at Mohun Bagan.

The winners were felicitated by Subrat Mohanty (Head of Sales, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance), Rituraj Bhattacharjee (Head-Market Management, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance) and the rest of the jury.

The National Finals in Pune took place over a span of three days from July 27 to 29 wherein each of the seven teams competed against each other while the East zone finale was a result of a selection process in Kolkata and other cities that began from June 14 with 20,000 students from 400 schools taking part across the East and Northeast of India.

Commenting on the initiative, Subrat Mohanty (Head of Sales, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance) said, "The third season of the Junior Football Camp saw an even greater response this year with over 38,000 students from 800 schools coming forward for this initiative. The final matches against the seven teams from across the country have been very exciting and are a testimonial to the quality of football talent all over. We wish the winners all the best and hope they continue to pursue their love for the game after the interaction with international football stars."

Roberto Mendes Silva said, "I am very pleased to have been a part of the jury for the Bajaj Allianz Junior Football Camp. I feel this is a great initiative to explore football talent in the country and give them a chance to train with the one of the best football clubs in the world."

Arata Izumi said, "Today's match reconfirmed the fact that there is immense talent for football in India. The exposure that the Junior Football Camp will give them is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they should make the most of, especially those looking to pursue football at a professional level."

The Allianz Junior Football Camp is organized in association with FC Bayern Munich. The global camp will be held in Munich in August 2012 and gives teenagers from across the world between the ages of 14-16 years the opportunity to meet and train with the legendary Bayern Munich coaches. They would also get a chance to attend a match at the Allianz Arena and meet football stars from Bayern Munich like Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and others.

Keventer Cup Allstar: 20 School Boys selected

The Keventer Cup, an inter-school football tournament in Kolkata, had been revived by the Debanjan Sen Foundation a few weeks ago which was won by La Martiniere For Boys with a 1-0 against St James' School at the La Martiniere ground.

Now a Keventer Cup Allstar team of 20 boys was announced from the inter-school football tournament. The boys were selected by scouts from the tournament and they will receive specialised training from coach Anit Ghosh and experts Jamshed Nassiri, Shyam Thapa and Alvito D'Cunha.

The school boys team will then play friendly matches at the CCFC and other venues across Kolkata.

Keventer Cup Allstar

Kewal Routh (Assembly of God Church School), Vardan Adiyan (Assembly of God Church School), Joshit Dutta (St James' School), Akash Mondal (St James' School), Mobasher Alam (St James' School), Abhishek Mitra (St James' School), Amir Khan (St James' School), Rohit Chetri (St Lawrence School), Anthony Hazra (St Lawrence School), Sheikh Saddam (St Lawrence School), Mahesh Kewat (St Lawrence School), Akash Dave (La Martiniere For Boys), Mohammed Adnan (La Martiniere For Boys), Nathan Alexander (La Martiniere For Boys), Asad Ahmed (The Heritage School), Shayon Moitra (The Heritage School), Akash Ghosh (The Heritage School), Rishiket Singh (Julien Day, Kalyani), Imtiaz Ali (St Dominics School), Sharukh Rahman (St Dominics School), Rahul Xalko (Don Bosco, Liluah), Bikash Paswan (Future Hope)

2012 Nehru Cup: Cameroon confirm participation!

African side Cameroon will be one of the highlights at the 2012 Nehru Cup to be played from August 22 to September 2 in New Delhi. The participation of Cameroon has been confirmed by Libero Sports India, which was mandated by the AIFF to secure the participation of the Cameroon national football team.

For Cameroon it would be their second participation in the Nehru Cup, who had last played in the tournament in 1993 in Chennai. Then Cameroon had topped Group B but then lost 0-4 to Romania B in the semifinals.

Cameroon which is ranked 59th in the latest FIFA world rankings would be the highest ranked team to have played in the Nehru Cup since the tournament's revival in 2007. The team would consist of home based players from the Cameroon domestic league as European-based players would be busy with league assignments.

The hope is with the participation of Cameroon that the African side would be one of the highlights in the 2012 edition of the Nehru Cup which is being held during the 75th anniversary year celebrations of the AIFF.

Having put to rest all the speculations around Cameroon's participation, Sukhvinder Singh, Managing Director of Libero Sports India, said, "We are glad that Libero Sports India through its partners in Africa have been able to contribute to taking the prestigious Nehru Cup 2012 to the next level by securing the participation of the Cameroon National Football team. We are sure that the football fans in India shall not only come and support the Indian National Football team but also relish the style of play of a high standard African football team which has made such a huge impact on world football."

Subrata Pal's tough training stint with RB Leipzig!

Indian international and Prayag United SC goalkeeper Subrata Pal has now enjoyed the first few days of practice with the RB Leipzig senior team after having earlier trained with their Under-23 team.

The German fourth Division (Regionalliga Nordost) side RB Leipzig were away in Austria until Wednesday last week for their pre-season conditioning camp and since Friday Subrata Pal has been training with the senior team under the guidance of goalkeeper coach Perry Bräutigam, a former East Germany international goalkeeper.

Subrata is enjoying every moment of his stint with RB leipzig as he reiterates the great facilities, organisation and the whole surroundings. The goalkeeping practice under Bräutigam is demanding and he is learning new methods of training while in germany.

At the club Subrata is training with their goalkeepers, Swiss national Fabio Coltorti besides youngsters Andreas Kerner and Benjamin Bellot. Especially the 1.97 m Coltorti has impressed Subrata, who has played four years in the Spanish La Liga with Racing Santander besides Swiss giants Grasshopper Zurich and other clubs at home.

Subrata believes if given a chance he could play in Germany's fourth division though physically it would be a challenge for him with most goalkeepers taller and stronger then him. But those who know Subrata will know, he is up for a challenge.

The two week trial-cum-training trip to Germany has been made possible by the Indian division of Red Bull, who are the owners of RB Leipzig and who have signed a one year deal with Subrata Pal to help develop the goalkeeper further with his career.

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Subrata Pal's trial in Germany along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing in Europe!

Minggu, 29 Juli 2012

2012 Mohun Bagan Day celebrations

Asia's oldest football club Kolkata's Mohun Bagan AC celebrated their Mohun Bagan Day yesterday across the day with a function at the Netaji Indoor Stadium being the highlight. The guest of honour at the function was Dutch legend Ruud Gullit, who was given a warm welcome by the over 5,000 Bagan fans at the venue.

July 29 is celebrated each year as it was on that day in 1911 that Mohun Bagan AC became the first Indian team to beat a team of the British to lift the IFA Shield trophy.

Besides being felicitated Ruud Gullit also unveiled the new Mohun Bagan jersey designed by renowned singer Babul Supriyo which was handed to team players Syed Rahim Nabi and Tolgay Ozbey.

This years Mohun Bagan Ratna was given to the late Jarnail Singh, one of India's best-ever defenders. The award was accepted by Jarnail's three daughters - Kulwinder Kaur, Jaswinder Kaur and Narinder Kaur - from Mohun Bagan president Swapan Sadhan Bose.

Other felicitations were of the Nursery League team of Mohun Bagan, the Bengal state cricket team besides the Mohun Bagan cricket team, which won four out of the five local tournaments under the Cricket Association of Bengal in the last season.

The function ended with performances from singers Babul Supriyo and Usha Uthup after it had started with Rabindra Sangeet by Jayati Chakraborty.

Individual Awards winners

'Sailen Manna Memorial Award' for Best Sportsperson of the Club 2011/12 - Laxmi Ratan Shukla (Cricketer)

'Karuna Shankar Bhattacharjee Award' for Best Footballer 2011/12 - Syed Rahim Nabi

'Dhiren Dey Memorial Award' for Best Cricketer 2011/12 - Debabrata Das

Award for Trainee with highest attendance in Kolkata Goalz tournament - Dilshad Rehmani

2012 Nehru Cup: Is African nation Kenya sure to come?

The 2012 edition of the Nehru Cup is set to be a five nation affair with African sides Cameroon and Kenya plus Asian nations Syria and the Maldives besides hosts India set to take part. The tournament will kick-off on August 22 in New Delhi, but the All India Football Federation has still not confirmed the final line-up of nations to play in the tournament.

There have been confirmations from the Maldives (Football Association of Maldives) and Syria (Syrian Football Association) that their nations will participate in the tournament, while reported earlier in the day that Cameroon has confirmed their participation with a squad made-up of players from the local Cameroonian league.

But now the AIFF could face problems with the other African participant Kenya. It was clear from the onset that Kenya star Victor Mugabe Wanyama from Celtic Glasgow would not play in the tournament like other of their Europe-based players, but now there is a match which Kenya is supposed to play against Jamaica on August 25 in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the US.

The official Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Twitter account tweeted yesterday: August 25 - Jamaica vs Kenya @ East Rutherford CT

The August 25 date, which is also in the FIFA match calendar, would mean that Kenya would have an official international friendly during the Nehru Cup and if Kenya is considering of having two teams playing the Nehru Cup and the Jamaica friendly then surely the weaker side would be send to India, maybe the Kenya Football Federation is even thinking about sending a junior team.

Earlier Jordan had made a similar offer to send their Under-19 side, which the AIFF correctly turned down. I guess the AIFF need to communicate with Kenya to find out what they are thinking.

All this sounds similar to what happened in earlier editions of the Nehru Cup.

Ruud Gullit: Supports Koevermans as India coach!

Former Dutch international captain and AC Milan star Ruud Gullit is in Kolkata and when asked about his former Oranje team mate Wim Koevermans, who has been appointed as Team India coach, he was in full support of Wim.

"I think Indian football is in good hands. The most important for these coaches is to develop youth football because that is where it all starts. It's important to have training facilities, the pitches," Ruud Gullit said.

"It is not about how many tricks a budding talent knows. It is more about how much he knows about the game, how much he understands football. The approach should be direct, it should be either about scoring goals or saving them," Gullit, himself a coach and TV expert, explained.

52 year old Wim Koevermans had been part of the Netherlands team which had won the 1988 European Championship in Germany under then captain Ruud Gullit.

And Gullit understands the problems that a large country like India faces in developing its football. Comparing it to the Netherlands he said, "Every club there has an amateur team and each team has about three or four pitches. For this reason, every kid has got the opportunity to play in the pitches."

"So you have to first think of building pitches, the artificial ones because of the weather," Gullit added.

50 Years Ago: Decision to launch German Bundesliga

On July 28, 1962 it was decided at a meeting in Dortmund to launch a new single, professional top tier in German football under the name of Bundesliga. It would take the German FA (DFB) and the clubs about year to get everything in place and then in August 1963 the Bundesliga was launched on the pitch.

This historic date was celebrated yesterday in the golden hall of Dortmund's Westfalenhallen, exactly where 50 years ago the launch meeting had been held. Now the Bundesliga is set to enter its historic 50th season in a few weeks time.

Germany's professional league was set-up later then their counterparts in England, Spain and Italy due to the fact that the country had come out of two world wars and had
been rebuilding the country.

At the meeting in Dortmund in 1962 103 delegates voted in favour of the Bundesliga, while 26 voted against the introduction of professional football in Germany. Surely then the men deciding on the creation of the Bundesliga did not know what an impact the league would have on Germany.

VIDEO: The new Pailan Arrows Team Bus

Bengali sports program XtraTime on ABP Ananda yesterday did a story on the Pailan Group sponsored AIFF Developmental side Pailan Arrows now have their own team bus to travel within Kolkata for matches and other events. The highlight is that the bus depicts photos of world and local football stars on the outside like Maradona, Messi, Kaka, etc besides Baichung Bhutia and other ex-India stars.

Sabtu, 28 Juli 2012

Goa Football Association's AGM

The Goa Football Association held its yearly Annual General Meeting at the Clube Tennis de Gaspar Dias in the state capital Panjim yesterday.

One of the main topics at the AGM was the performances of states teams at the Santosh Trophy and youth tournaments which in the recent past has been far from satisfactory. A focus would be given to a more professional approach and not short-term preparations once teams are announced. The coaching and competitions committee would be involved to make the necessary corrections.

The GFA also applauded the decision of the Goan state government to make football the state sport of Goa and ideas were exchanged as to how the GFA can improve football in Goa by working together with the newly formed Goa State Football Development Council (GSFDC).

The infrastructure situation was also discussed with the GFA set to work with the GSFDC to develop necessary grounds and training facilities. The GFA informed those present that the Duler ground would be ready by November following the delay in installation of the artificial turf pitch, while the federation had been informed by its vice-president Elvis Gomes who also happens to be the SAG ED that government had assured him to have a small-size stadium at Campal ready in two years time.

Meanwhile a grand total of 106 GFA officials and organisers were felicitated for their contribution to Goan football. The list included 38 from Bardez, 42 from Salcete, 13 from Ilhas and 13 from Mormugao who have worked tirelessly for many years to organise GFA matches which stands at 968 matches last season.

The GFA president Srinivas Dempo also paid homage to the three members of the Goan football fraternity who sadly passed away in the last season - Adolfo Viegas, a former GFA general secretary who played a key role in the early development of the Association; Duler stadium football manager Jerome Fernandes who looked after the GFA's home stadium with aplomb and Antonio Colaco who also provided yeoman services to the Association.

Ranty Martins Soleye: The dream to play for Nigeria!

Nigerian Ranty Martins Soleye is one of the best strikers on the Indian football circuit. The 25 year old Ranty after eight years with I-League champions Dempo SC has left Goa to join aspiring Kolkata side Prayag United SC for the new season.

But Prayag United isn't the only ambition for Ranty in the future as he dreams to play for the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, one day while continuing his club career in India.

Speaking to the local The Guardian Nigeria, Ranty praising the I-League said, "I know that many people will begin to say that what is in India league. But I want to say here that the league in India is very strong. It is stronger than what we have in Nigeria because it is improving every season."

"More so, I want the handlers of the national team (Super Eagles) to look at the quality of the individuals and not where they play. I know my quality as a striker and I want the coaches, particularly Stephen Keshi to give an opportunity to prove myself. I won’t disappoint him," Ranty added.

It will be interesting to follow if a Nigerian striker playing in India will be given a chance to play for the Super Eagles with their star players playing in some of the biggest leagues in Europe.

Interesting was also to read Ranty's high opinion of the I-League. He further said, "The Indian league looks tougher, even though we have a lot of power play in the Nigerian league. The league over there is more tactical than what we have in Nigeria. I watched one of the league matches in Nigeria recently and it does not really impress me."

4th FICCI Sports Summit 'Turf2012' in October

The 4th FICCI Global Sports Summit 'TURF 2012' and FICCI Sports Awards will be held on October 18/19 at the auditoriums of FICCI's Federation House in New Delhi. There is plethora of investment and growth opportunities in the Sports sector. To facilitate the above FICCI has been organizing Global Sports Summit “TURF” and FICCI Sports Awards for the last three years.

FICCI expect that Public - Private Partnerships, State-Industry engagements and international cooperation will reach newer heights. Indian and international sports experts as panelists will bring innovative ideas and exclusive insights on the major issues and growing opportunities in the field of sports.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organizations in India, headquartered in the national capital New Delhi. FICCI is one of the main organizations to fund and support many governmental and non-governmental educational institutes. And sports is one area in which the FICCI has become more proactive in recent years. In 2009 FICCI organised their first-ever Sports Summit and since then the sports summit has grown in size and importance.

Objectives of FICCI TURF and Sports Awards Night

•Discuss the existing challenges and emerging opportunities in the business of Sports

•Promoting international cooperation for development of business of Sports in India

•Initiate dialogue between government, sports persons, federations, foreign experts and India Inc during networking opportunities

•Highlighting success stories & bringing best practices to India

•Develop understanding on Public Private Partnership models: Up gradation of existing Sports Infrastructure

•Recognize the contribution of sports for economy and society and felicitate sporting heroes

India Camp set to be held at Greater Noida's Jaypee Greens

The 2012 edition of the Nehru Cup will kick-off in less then a month's time likely on August 22 at the Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and now the All India Football Federation seems to have finalised the preparations for Team India under new national coach Dutchman Wim Koevermans in both venue and dates.

The venue for the preparatory camp has been the most difficult issue for the AIFF to sort then the original plan was to use the Ambedkar Stadium which was not to the liking of Wim Koevermans, then the outside ground at the Nehru Stadium was shown to the Dutchman but that ground did not meet the expectations either. Then Bangalore's Football Stadium was considered as an alternative venue, but with the tournament in Delhi and the Bangalore ground being an artificial turf it was seen as unsuitable as well.

By this time Wim Koevermans was considering of holding a two week camp in Dubai before training the last few days in New Delhi, but that was not granted by the AIFF while the federation was looking for options in and around New Delhi. They finally found a suitable location in Greater Noida at Jaypee Greens Sports City, where the camp is now set to be held.

The India camp which was originally to kick-off on yesterday, July 27 will now kick-off on Wednesday, August 1 after the I-League clubs agreed to release their players for more then two weeks to give new coach Wim Koevermans the chance to work on his system with the players.

Goalkeeper Subrata Pal is set to join the camp on August 6 after he returns from a trial-cum-training stint in Germany, while if and when new Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' striker Sunil Chhetri will join is unknown.

Jumat, 27 Juli 2012

Sporting B win 2-0, Sunil Chhetri plays 45 minutes again

The 'B' team of Sporting Clube de Portugal continued their pre-season with a 2-0 friendly victory against 2nd Division club (third tier) C.D. Mafra. Indian striker Sunil Chhetri was given a start by coach Oceano Andrade da Cruz along with Vítor Golas, Chula, Nuno Reis, Eric Dier, Turin, João Mário, Zezinho, Yang, Filipe Chaby and Bruma.

Sporting B controlled the first session, but Sunil and his colleagues failed to get onto the scoresheet. Sunil along with Chinese Yang were substituted with Betinho and Kikas.

Sporting B continued to control proceedings after the break, but one thing changed with substitutes scoring. First Renato Neto gave Sporting B a 70th minute lead and Betinho doubled that in the 85th minute.

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Sunil Chhetri's pre-season at Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' Team along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing across Europe!

Photos - Orissa 1st Division Football League

The Football Association of Odisha for the last few days is organising the Orissa 1st Division Football League at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Here are photos from some of the matches.

Subrata Pal learning & enjoying the RB Leipzig experience!

Indian international goalkeeper Subrata Pal joins the practice of the RB Leipzig senior team this afternoon after having trained with their Under-23 team for the last three days.

The German fourth Division (Regionalliga Nordost) side RB Leipzig were away in Austria until Wednesday for their pre-season training camp. The squad was given an off-day yesterday by their coach Alexander Zorniger and now start their regular practice sessions from today afternoon in which Subrata will join in.

In the last three days Subrata Pal had intensive training with the Under-23s and he just loves the professionalism at the club, has no problem with the currently hot weather in Germany with food and accommodation also being perfect for him.

Subrata, a big fan of German football, is enjoying his stay and said, "In such conditions you can focus on training and playing football!"

At the senior team of RB Leipzig Subrata will now train under former East Germany international goalkeeper Perry Bräutigam, who played and then was goalkeeper coach for many years at FC Hansa Rostock. At the first team Subrata will now train with RB Leipzig's Swiss goalkeeper Fabio Coltorti besides youngsters Andreas Kerner and Benjamin Bellot.

The two week trial-cum-training trip to Germany has been made possible by the Indian division of Red Bull, who are the owners of RB Leipzig and who have signed a one year deal with Subrata Pal to help develop the goalkeeper further with his career.

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Subrata Pal's trial in Germany along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing in Europe!

25th Airlines Gold Cup, Kolkata - Fixtures

The 25th edition of the Airlines Gold Cup will be played in Kolkata from August 2 to 11, which the local clubs will use as preparations for the upcoming Calcutta Premier Division. The big attraction in this edition will be Mohun Bagan AC, who will be playing in the tournament for the first-time since 2005.

The tournament will also see Mohammedan Sporting Club, George Telegraph SC, Kalighat Milan Sangha, Bhowanipore Club, Southern Samity, Techno Aryan Club and Janbazar SC in action. The pre-quarterfinals and quarterfinals will be played at the Mohun Bagan ground while the semifinals and final will be held at the Saltlake Stadium.


02-Aug-2012: Janbazar SC - Bhowanipore Club (Mohun Bagan ground)
03-Aug-2012: Techno Aryan Club - Southern Samity (Mohun Bagan ground)

04-Aug-2012: Kalighat Milan Sangha - Winner Match 1 (Mohun Bagan ground)
05-Aug-2012: George Telegraph SC - Winner Match 2 (Mohun Bagan ground)

06-Aug-2012: Mohammedan Sporting Club - Winner Match 3 (Saltlake Stadium)
08-Aug-2012: Mohun Bagan AC - Winner Match 4 (Saltlake Stadium)

11-Aug-2012: Winner SF 1 - Winner SF 2 (Saltlake Stadium)

VIDEO: David Beckham pops up at the #takethestage photobooth

The 2012 London Olympics are set to officially start today with the opening ceremony. Earlier this week international sports brand Adidas brought astonished shoppers at Westfield Stratford City, which is close to the Olympic vilage, face to face with global sports icon David Beckham at the #takethestage photobooth. Some great reactions are to be seen!

Kamis, 26 Juli 2012

Bayern Munich win friendly against Wolfsburg in China

German giants FC Bayern Munich won 2-1 against their Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg in a pre-season friendly earlier today at the Olympic Stadium in the south Chinese city of Guangzhou. Bayern Munich's goals were scored by new striker Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben, while Vaclav Pilar reduced the deficit.

The match was held in China as the second friendly match of the Audi Football Summit series, which is an open series of friendly football matches organised by Audi AG and played around the world. The car major is using football as a tool of promoting its products with Bayern Munich being co-owned and sponsored by Audi, while its parent company Volkswagen owns VfL Wolfsburg. The first Audi Football Summit match was held on January 10, 2012 in New Delhi when Team India took on FC Bayern Munich.

Wolfsburg had the better start into the match, while Bayern Munich needed time to get into the game but on the half hour mark they got a penalty for a foul on Thomas Müller. Former Wolfsburg striker Mario Mandzukic took the penalty to give his new team the lead. Dutch international Arjen Robben doubled the lead in the 39th minute with a lob over Wolves keeper Hitz off a pass from Franck Ribéry.

After the break substitutions and the hot-and-humid weather took its toll on the game with Wolfsburg's Czech newcomer Vaclav Pilar reducing the deficit in injury time. The match ended 2-1 for Bayern Munich, their second win on their China tour after beating Beijing Guoan on Tuesday.

FC Bayern Munich 2-1 (2-0) VfL Wolfsburg - Goals: 1-0 Mario Mandzukic (29', pen), 2-0 Arjen Robben (39'), 2-1 Vaclav Pilar (90+2')

FC Bayern
Neuer - Boateng, Van Buyten, Dante (46' Badstuber), Contento (46' Tymoshchuk) - Gustavo, Kroos (63' Can) - Robben (46' Pizarro), Müller (67' Weiser), Ribéry (46' Shaqiri) - Mandzukic (46' Gomez)

VfL Wolfsburg
Hitz - Fagner (80' Diego), Naldo (80' Russ), Pogatetz (46' Knoche), Schäfer (80' Kahlenberg) - Hasani (27' Hasebe), Josué (69' Dejagah), Polák (46' Pilar) - Olic (69' Träsch), Helmes (46' Orozco) - Dost (46' Lakic)

Zhao Liang (China)


2012 Nehru Cup: Which nations will participate?

The 2012 edition of the Nehru Cup will kick-off in less then a month's time in New Delhi, but the All India Football Federation has still not named the final line-up of nations to play in the tournament.

One thing is clear that the tournament will be a five nation affair and hosts India will be one of the participating teams. According to sources the AIFF have finalised the four other nations which would be Cameroon, Kenya, Syria and the Maldives with the names of the nations to be made public in the coming days.

Originally the AIFF had send out more then 10 invitations across Asia and Africa. After it became clear that Nigeria wouldn't like to take part, other African nations in Cameroon, Senegal and Kenya were approached with Kenya accepting the invitation quickly while Cameroon took its time to give a positive feedback.

Meanwhile within Asia the nations of Afghanistan, Jordan, Maldives, the Philippines, Syria and Thailand were approached with Jordan, Maldives, the Philippines and Syria all willing to participate. The AIFF then had to decide which two Asian nations it wanted in the tournament. By then the Philippines backed out, so it was Syria and the Maldives in the end.

Surely Syria were opponents of India in 2007 and 2009 finals, but the question remains if the west Asians would be appropriate to have in the tournament with all those political problems in their country. VIDEO: FC Remscheid beat Italian side NFC Orlandina Calcio

It is pre-season time here in Germany. My home town team FC Remscheid played an international friendly yesterday evening against Italian side NFC Orlandina Calcio. And as always encounters between German and Italian sides are intense and hard fought.

Here my report for in German

Photos: Panasonic Dream Camp in Shillong

Here photos from the inaugural Panasonic Dream Camp which was organised over the last couple of days in Shillong, Meghalaya.

VIDEO: FC Seoul's Mauricio Molina Scorpion Kick Goal!

FC Seoul's Colombian midfielder Mauricio Alejandro Molina Uribe scored a brilliant scorpion kick goal in his clubs K-League match against Busan I'Park. I'd say a must watch!

Rabu, 25 Juli 2012

Panasonic Dream Camp - Day Two

Yesterday marked the second and final day of the two-day Panasonic Dream Camp in Shillong. Like like on day one there were two training sessions on the artificial turf, a classroom session and a closing ceremony.

First training session - Defending
The morning session began at 8am with the focus on 'Defending'. This session comprised of small sided scenarios - 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4, Defensive positioning, basic principles of defending, and gradual progression. International defender Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh's valuable experience was used by the boys in following various defensive movements and covering opponents.

Classroom session
The classroom session saw India assistant coach Savio Medeira talk to the boys about Sports Nutrition and its benefits. This was followed by a look at a few goals from Indian team matches against Tajikistan and Syria in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and 2009 ONGC Nehru Cup.

Second training session - New Formation of 4-3-3
The evening session introduced the players to Indian football's new philosophy - the 4-3-3 formation, adapting to different field positions and play, movement off the ball, and defensive shape formations.

Closing Ceremony
At 7pm, the boys assembled at the hotel for the closing ceremony of the Panasonic Dream Camp. The function was also attended by B. Diengdoh (Meghalaya Football Association Vice-President), S.S. Rapthap (MFA Joint Secretary), and Sunesh Syiem (MFA Convenor, Youth Development Cell).

Libero Sports' Sukhvinder Singh one-by-one invited the representative from Panasonic India, B. Diengdoh, Savio Medeira and Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh to speak a few words to the kids. Certificates, group photographs and footballs were handed over to boys by the guests from MFA, coaching staff and AIFF players. The representative from Panasonic India handed over some mementos to the coaches and players and later on presented a signed shirt to MFA as a token of appreciation. This was followed by dinner.

French Ligue 1 on Ten Sports for three seasons!

The Zee Group owned Ten Sports has signed a three years multi-platform deal for south Asia to show the French Football League from this season, 2012/13 onwards. The deal has been negotiated by rights agency MP&Silva, which include 232 matches from the French top division - Ligue 1 along with games from the French League Cup plus a weekly Ligue 1 Preview show.

Ten Sports has been on the lookout to add quality football content to their channels after losing the rights to the Spanish La Liga from this season onwards to ESPN-Star Sports. Amongst the top 5 leagues in Europe - English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 - only the French rights were still available.

The channels TenAction+ and Ten HD in the Ten stable of sports channel are the football specific channel which will from now on show French football.

The Zeel sports business CEO Atul Pande said, "Acquisition of the French League, one of the most competitive football leagues in Europe, underlines our commitment to football fans in the region as we continue providing the most entertaining content to our viewers, and an excellent promotional platform for our advertisers. We have established a strong tradition in building and strengthening top-class football properties on our channels with the reach of our networks, multiple media platforms and world-class match presentation."

The 20 team Ligue 1 will have 38 rounds of matches home-and-away with their star attractions being Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique Marseille and the high spending FC Paris Saint-Germain with their start-studded line-up which includes new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva besides Javier Pastore, Thiago Motta and Jérémy Ménez.

Andrea Radrizzani, the MP&Silva Group CEO, said on the deal, "We are delighted to facilitate the growth of French football in India. European football TV audiences in India are rapidly growing, attracting more interest from leagues, competitions, sponsors and players to satisfy this appetite."

Besides the French rights the Ten stable also has the rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the English Carling Cup, the Npower Football League (English Championship, League One, League Two) besides the Dutch Eredivisie and Scottish Premier League for the upcoming 2012/13 season.

Indian Origin Robin Dutt: A Chance I couldn't turn down!

To many it came as surprise when first rumours came out that Robin Dutt could be a candidate for the post of Director of Sports at the German Football Association (DFB), then many expected the DFB to look for a high profile name rather then someone qualified for the post and with amateur and Bundesliga experience.

In the end the DFB decided to look for option two and then the name Robin Dutt came-up. In less then two weeks everything was worked out and today the DFB presented their new Director of Sports to the media and public.

For Robin Dutt initially it came as a surprise that the DFB had approached him to become Director of Sports, some would call this position Technical Director. But Robin said at the press conference after giving the post some thought it was an chance which he could not turn down though he will now be away from everyday work with a team on the field as a coach.

Robin Dutt said about his appointment, "To take on this exciting task at the DFB has a special meaning for me. I look forward to working with national coach Joachim Löw and all other DFB coaches. And to me it is an incredibly interesting challenge to develop the biggest talents of our country."

What still many in Germany do not know is that Robin Dutt is of Indian origin, his father is a Bengali and his mother is German. He was born in Cologne but early in his life his father shifted to southwest Germany and that is were he would stay before becoming a coach at SC Freiburg, whom he got promoted to the Bundesliga and then Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Robin Dutt will officially join the DFB on August 1, 2012 and has signed a four year contract.

Here a link to an older blog post of mine from 2010: Robin Dutt: An Indo-German success story .

Robin Dutt appointed as Germany's new Director of Sports!

Indian origin Robin Dutt was today presented by the German Football Association (DFB) at a press conference at their headquarters in Frankfurt as their new Director of Sports. Dutt will officially join the DFB on August 1, 2012 and has signed a four year contract.

Robin Dutt replaces Matthias Sammer who made a surprise exit as Director of Sports on July 2 when he joined Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich. Since then the DFB has been on the lookout for a suitable replacement and now Indian origin Robin Dutt has been appointed as the second-ever Director of Sports with Sammer having been the first one in the job which was only created in 2006.

47 year old Robin Dutt belongs to the new bread of concept coaches, who work to improve their players day-by-day. A concept which is also followed at the DFB in their youth system under Matthias Sammer and under senior national coach Joachim Löw.

In his new position Dutt will be responsible for the entire youth and talent development as well as the optimization of the Coaches Education at the DFB, while he is also responsibe of the management and control of the German Youth coaches.

Robin Dutt said about his appointment, "To take on this exciting task at the DFB has a special meaning for me. I look forward to working with national coach Joachim Löw and all other DFB coaches. And to me it is an incredibly interesting challenge to develop the greatest talents of our country."

DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said, "I am pleased that we can present it in such a short span of time a renowned Bundesliga expert for this important position. I am sure that Robin Dutt with all his qualities will continue the successful work of Matthias Sammer and through his experience bring new impetus to the job."

Here a link to an older blog post of mine from 2010: Robin Dutt: An Indo-German success story .

VIDEO: What makes a perfect footballer? (ARS Series)

As part of the Airtel Rising Stars - Video Series Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri is in conversation with former Manchester United and Trinidad&Tobago striker Dwight Yorke, who shares vital tips on how to be a great footballer. Yorke talks about various aspects of being a young aspiring footballer.

Selasa, 24 Juli 2012

English Premier League issues Social Media use guidelines

Social media is becoming more and more part of our everyday life and it is causing problems even within football. Now the English Premier League has issued guidance to its clubs on player use of social media.

This comes after clubs had asked the EPL to put together general guidelines for the use of social media after players have been causing uproars for their tweets.

The guidelines focus on a number of areas including the benefits of using social media to engage with supporters, understanding the potential audience of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and recognising that it is possible to commit offences online via social media.

Advice is offered on the endorsement of brands, goods and services, while confidential information about team selection, injuries or tactics is prohibited from being disclosed on social media.

Also outlined is The FA regulatory role in respect of disciplinary action that can be taken against players who make improper comments on social media websites.

Though now there are new guidelines in place the Premier League still views social media as a useful tool, if used responsibly, it provides a way for fans to follow and communicate with players and this was not possible in this way earlier.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore commented on social media in a recent interview and outlined the many benefits of its use by saying, "Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players. There is a more human side now to some of the players and the public can communicate more directly with them."

"Clearly it isn't the same as texting your best mate or talking to someone in person and sometimes there can be abusive comments, but generally the internet, online chat rooms, and the way people are communicating is healthy," Scudamore added.

English PFA looking to play matches in India!

A delegation from the English PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) was in India last week to speak to their Indian counterparts the FPAI (Football Players Association of India). Amongst other things it was discussed to play a couple of matches between the PFA and FPAI with October likely to be choosen with the monsoons over and the weather not so hot anymore.

Players who are considering making the trip are former Premier League stars like Alan Shearer, Fernando Morientes, Teddy Sheringham, Robbie Fowler, Didier Hamann, Gaizka Mendieta, Ivan Campo and many more who have just hung up their boots in recent months. Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville, who is one of Roy Hodgson's assistant coaches with England, is also interested to come to India if his busy schedule permits.

Christian Smith (Commercial Director) and Colin Hill (Commercial Executive), a former player in the English League himself, were down in India for three days to check the facilities across stadiums and hotels for their players.

If they do go ahead they will play a mix of ex-Indian players as maybe some Celebrities to add to the glamour quotient. Baichung Bhutia, Alvito D'Cunha, I.M. Vijayan as well as numerous other names are doing the rounds for these matches.

The objective is to create larger interest for football in India not forgetting the Indian players being part of the event as well. As it appears the PFA is very happy with the football culture of India and plans to make this one of the venues of their annual tours that have included Australia, Barbados and some others. They would also contribute significantly through having coaching clinics and hosting charity auctions while on tour.

The cities are yet to be confirmed but it looks likely to be between Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and a couple of other cities.

Could Robin Dutt be Germany's new Director of Sports?

Matthias Sammer made a surprise exit as Director of Sports of the German Football Association (DFB) on July 2 when he joined Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich. Since then the DFB has been on the lookout for a suitable replacement and now Indian origin Robin Dutt is said to be a potential candidate.

After the initial show the DFB is said to now intensify their search with top candidate Oliver Kahn turning down the offer with 1.Kaiserslautern CEO Stefan Kuntz and Robin Dutt now being considered for the job due to their diversified work profiles.

While Stefan Kuntz like Oliver Kahn is a former Germany international with management back; Robin Dutt has never played at the highest level of Germany football, but he made it through the different levels of coaching upto the Bundesliga were he has coached SC Freiburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

47 year old Robin Dutt belongs to the new bread of concept coaches, who work to improve their players day-by-day. A concept which was also followed at the DFB in their youth system under Matthias Sammer. Robin Dutt especially in Freiburg was an attacking minded coach, all factors which could speak for him though his lack of international football for Germany could be a draw back.

Initially DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach had said that the DFB could take month's to appoint a successor to Matthias Sammer, but now the federation is looking to appoint a new Director of Sports before Germany's international friendly against Argentina on August 15.

Panasonic Dream Camp - Day One

Yesterday marked the first of the two-day Panasonic Dream Camp in Shillong. After the initial introductions, the first day primarily focused on a couple of training sessions on the FIFA Artificial Turf, one each in the morning and evening along with a classroom session at the hotel.

First training session - Passing
The morning session began at 8am with some light rain around, with the boys making full use of their rain-proof track-suit. The session mainly focused on 'Passing'. After going through some dynamic stretching initially, the boys participated in some passive training that included free movement and more touches on the ball. Later, the training became more active to encourage decision making with opponents and involving various match related scenarios and focussing on receiving the ball. The 90 minute training session ended with a fifteen minute 11 a-side match and cooling down exercises.

Classroom session
Between the two on-field training sessions there was a classroom session conducted for the participants to discuss various nuances of the game of football by showing them videos from the recently held EURO2012. The boys enjoyed some of the best goals of the tournament and learnt about the high standard of international football. The classroom session also included videos on best training practices involving some special drills used by coaches for youngsters around the world.

2nd training session - Dribbling
The evening session focused on 'Dribbling' and involved pretty much the same passive and active training drills, but with a new theme. More drills were 1 vs 1 oriented to place emphasis on dribbling. The session ended with a 3-team league where 9 a-side matches were conducted.

After-dinner entertainment
After dinner at 9pm, the boys were shown the football game from a Hollywood movie, 'Escape to Victory'. It was a perfect way to relax for them after a long hard day of training by entertaining themselves by watching some of their favourite actors and players in a football movie. Lights were off at 10pm ahead of second day of action.

Subrata Pal starts training at RB Leipzig tonight

Indian international and Prayag United SC goalkeeper Subrata Pal arrived in Leipzig on Saturday after flying in from Kolkata via Mumbai and Frankfurt/Main for his trial-cum-training stint with German fourth Division (Regionalliga Nordost) side RB Leipzig. Tonight he starts his practice.

Subrata after arriving in Leipzig was given time by RB Leipzig to accustom himself to the new surroundings and weather conditions then it was cool over the weekend for an European summer. Subrata got to see the facilities of RB Leipzig, a little bit of the city and yesterday he took part at the club organised youth camp for 8 to 12 year old kids. A great experience as Subrata said!

With the senior team of RB Leipzig currently away on a week-long pre-season training camp in Bad Aussee in Austria which ends tomorrow; Subrata will train with the Under-23 team of RB Leipzig, who play in the sixth division Landesliga Sachsen, to get acclimatised to German football conditions. He has his first training session with RB Leipzig's Under-23 this evening at 18.30 CET.

The two week trial-cum-training trip to Germany has been made possible by the Indian division of Red Bull, who are the owners of RB Leipzig and who have signed a one year deal with Subrata Pal to help develop the goalkeeper further with his career.

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Subrata Pal's trial in Germany along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing in Europe!

Senin, 23 Juli 2012

IFA finds Tolgay guilty of misconduct, imposes huge fine

After weeks of uncertainly the Indian Football Association (West Bengal) Players' Status Committee has given its verdict in the Tolgay Ozbey case. The committee found the Australian striker guilty of professional misconduct and he has been asked to pay one month's salary and a fine of Rs 500,000 (5 lakh) in order to get a formal release from East Bengal Club.

The IFA Players' Status Committee has given both sides 72 hours to respond to the order otherwise it would be null and void. Both sides will consult lawyers before getting back to the IFA.

The IFA took this decision because they say it is proven that Tolgay first wanted to stay with East Bengal and then signed for archrivals Mohun Bagan, which is the cause for this whole transfer confusion.

To end the matter Tolgay has been asked to pay one month's salary (US$ 18,450, last seasons monthly salary) to East Bengal Club via the IFA and send a letter of apology to both his former club and the IFA after which East Bengal will have to return the token.

Further the IFA will fine Tolgay Ozbey of Rs 500,000 which would go to the IFA players benevolent fund.

East Bengal Club on their side have been asked to withdraw the case against the Australian at a Kolkata civil court and return the token to the parent body.

If both sides agree, then Tolgay would be a free players and could then sign for Mohun Bagan; but as this whole story has unfolded there might be more twists and turns waiting to happen before it finally ends.

Panasonic Dream Camp for aspiring Footballers

Panasonic India along with Libero Sports is organizing a three day dream camp from today onwards for aspiring footballers which would provide them an opportunity to learn what it takes to represent India as an international player. The camp is being held at Shillong, Meghalaya.

At this three day residential camp, 28 junior players within the age group of 12-15 years will get a first-hand experience of what goes on at a national team training camp. This will include intensive training sessions, cool downs, in-classroom learning, videos, social time and a number of other unique football experiences.

Team India assistant coach Savio Medeira along with coaches Francisco Bruto da Costa and John Kenneth Raj are overseeing the technical aspects of the camp, while international players Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, Sushil Kumar Singh and Renedy Singh are involved in the camp sharing their knowledge and experience of the game with the Dream Camp participants. On completion of the camp the participants will receive certificates signed by Panasonic and the AIFF.

The participating players were nominated by the Meghalaya Football Association and two were players selected from a Panasonic Facebook campaign. The players are housed at The EeeCee Hotel and all training sessions are taking place at the FIFA Artificial Turf Pitch.

The technical plan is designed and executed by the Panasonic Dream Camp Technical Director, Savio Medeira. While off-pitch, the participants will engage in Q&A with the AIFF players and coaches, watch highlight DVDs, discuss their football dreams and gain invaluable insight on what it takes to represent India at the international level.

Talking about the dream camp Manish Sharma, Managing Director at Consumer Product Division, Panasonic India, said, "Panasonic has been playing a significant role in promoting football in India through its partnership with the All India Football Federation. This extraordinary Dream Camp would be a rewarding experience for the aspiring young footballers and give them a chance to get game tips from professional players. It will also seek to set participants up for future success and encourage the spirit of football in the country."

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, "I thank Panasonic for its significant contribution in our efforts to improve football both on-field and off-field. The continuous support from a brand like Panasonic encourages and ensures interest in the game. We are pleased to be associated and supported by Panasonic to help promote and take Indian football to the next level."

Expressing his view on the Dream Camp, former India captain Renedy Singh, said, "This camp is a wonderful platform for the young aspiring players to learn football tactics from professionals and interact with them. This is a great opportunity made possible by Panasonic by organizing such football coaching camp. I am really looking forward to the two-day long fun-filled learning experience."

It is the first camp of its kind and if it is successful then such camps could be held in other cities of the country.

Is the upcoming I-League set to face venue problems?

The 2012/13 edition of the I-League, India's professional football league, is set to kick-off sometime in October 2012 after the conclusion of the 2012 Federation Cup. But the sixth edition is set to face venue and infrastructure problems of unknown proportions.

It is already known that Goa's Nehru Stadium, also known as Fatorda Stadium, in Margao is set for major renovation work ahead of next years Lusofonia Games. This means the stadium will not be available for the whole duration of the I-League and with the Duler ground in Mapusa still work in progress as it is getting an artificial turf under the FIFA 'Win in India with India' programme, this leaves only Vasco's Tilak Maidan as an I-League venue in Goa for the four participating clubs - Dempo SC, Churchill Brothers SC, Salgaocar SC and Sporting Clube de Goa.

Mumbai's Cooperage ground is also part of FIFA's 'Win in India with India' programme. There the artificial turf is already in use and through another FIFA grant the Cooperage is getting upgraded with proper stands plus a floodlighting system. Only as per WIFA CEO Henry Menezes' assessment it will not be ready to host I-League matches before November 2012. This means Air India, Mumbai FC and promoted ONGC might have to play their first few home matches in Pune or start with a number of away ties.

Now in Kolkata the Saltlake Stadium had its problems last season with floodlights which resulted in matches having to be played in the afternoon heat due to the need of daylight and to avoid floodlight failure which has been reoccurring since September 2004. West Bengal Sports Minister Madan Mitra promised the IFA, the I-League clubs and football lovers that the archaic floodlights would be replaced by the start of the next I-League, but that now looks to be in danger with the minister not willing to give any final date. This could mean further afternoon matches in the Saltlake Stadium in the new I-League season for East Bengal Club, Mohun Bagan AC, Prayag United SC and the Pailan Arrows.

The above leaves the I-League with 11 of their 14 clubs having stadium issues at the start of the I-League season with Pune FC hopefully not facing similar problems with their floodlights as last season and United Sikkim FC's home town of Gangtok not being off limits due to bad weather in the winter months.

It's a difficult time to plan out things for the I-League...

Exclusive PHOTOs: Sporting B's Sunil Chhetri in match action

Yesterday Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' faced Associação Naval 1º de Maio ( Match Report: Sporting B gets 1-1 draw, Sunil plays 45 minutes ) in their second game at the the Football Summer Cup By DFN played at the Fontelo in Viseu. Here some exclusive match action photos of India captain Sunil Chhetri with his SCP 'B' team mates.

Here the link to some Exclusive PHOTOs: Sporting B's Sunil Chhetri warming-up .

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Sunil Chhetri's pre-season at Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' Team along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing across Europe!

Orissa 1st Division Football League kicked-off!

The Football Association of Orissa organised 1st Division of the Orissa Football League officially named 'Sidhartha' FAO 1st Division League 2012 kicked-off at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack yesterday with Odisha Police winning 2-0 against Mangala Club. Double scorer Himanshu Majhi was the match winner for the Policemen with goals in the 65th and 74th minute.

The Chief guest for the opening ceremony was Director General of Police Prakash Mishra, while the Honorary Secretary of the Football Association of Orissa Asirbad Behera was present as the Guest of Honour.

Also present from the FAO and other dignitaries were Bijay Das, Bhakta Ballav Das, Ramesh Ch. Mallick (all vice-Presidents), Rushinath Sahoo, Avijit Paul, Bikram K. Mohapatra, Sangita Sharma (Joint-Secretary) and M.A. Alam (Treasurer).

To keep uptodate with fixtures and result follow it under the official FAO website:

Airtel Rising Stars - Jaipur: Digvijay, Ishan & Shubham the winners!

Digvijay Singh from St.Anselm's, Mansrovar; Ishan Rozario from St. Xavier's School and Shubham Sharma from St.Anselm's, Ajmer were adjudge as the three 'Airtel Rising Stars' at the Jaipur talent hunt that concluded at the city’s St. Xavier’s School Football Ground. The players were selected on criteria based on the aspects mentioned in the Manchester United Scouting Guidelines.

Gajraj Singh of Mayoor Chopasni School, Jodhpur was selected among all the goalkeepers. Gajraj will join four other goalkeepers from Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow for the next level trials for goalkeepers.

The experienced and watchful eyes of the coaches judged the players on their performance, taking into consideration their physical and mental strengths, expertise in position, and technical acumen. Based on their expertise in the city camp Digvijay Singh, Ishan Rozario and Shubham Sharma were selected. The three footballers from Rajasthan will join players from 15 other centres to participate in the six-day final selection trial, scheduled to take place in Bangalore this September.

Airtel CEO Sudipto Chowdhury congratulated the chosen boys from Jaipur and said, "With the expertise of Procam International, Airtel Rising Stars offers talented young players across India a phenomenal chance to participate and enjoy football in a structured and well run format. It was incredible to see hundreds of young aspirants playing their best game and we were pleased to find these three exceptionally talented players in Jaipur."

"Our best wishes are with these players and all others selected from across the country and hope they go on to achieve their ultimate dreams."

The 120 footballers who were shortlisted on Day one but failed to make it to the camp will get another opportunity to make their 'Airtel Rising Stars' dream come true next season. They will also receive Manchester United certificates, signed by none other than Sir Alex Fergusson.

Launched in association with Manchester United, 'Airtel Rising Stars' is a rigorous scouting program that will cover 16 cities across India and will choose 12 talented footballers who get the chance-of-a-lifetime to attend a week long training camp with Manchester United in Old Trafford, England.

The three best players from Jaipur will join 45 other players, who will be divided into four teams of 12 each and will be tested on all parameters (including physical attributes, individual skills, match situations and their performances in actual matches) before the 12 best players are chosen to travel to Manchester United for a week and to train alongside the Manchester United Academy team.

Minggu, 22 Juli 2012

Sporting B gets 1-1 draw, Sunil plays 45 minutes

Sporting 'B' drew one-all against Associação Naval 1º de Maio in their second game in the Football Summer Cup By DFN played at Viseu's Municipal Stadium. Their new Indian striker Sunil Chhetri came on as a second half substitute and played the 45 minutes.

Pedro Mendes gave Sporting 'B' a 12th minute lead through a header, but the green-and-whites were wasteful with their chances and this would harm them as Carlitos equalised for Naval in the 76th minute. It stayed one-all until the end.

In their tournaments opening match Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' Team had won 4-1 against the 'B' Team of Associação Académica de Coimbra at the Municipal de Nelas. In that game Sunil Chhetri had played 45 minutes in the second half of the match.

Here the link to Exclusive PHOTOs: Sporting B's Sunil Chhetri warming-up .

Please LIKE & follow @Arunfoot on Twitter to get further updates on Sunil Chhetri's pre-season at Sporting Clube de Portugal 'B' Team along with further news on what the other Indian footballers and Players of Indian origin are doing across Europe!