At U-17 final, spectators sport jerseys of local clubs
Kolkata: The famous maroon–green and red and yellow jerseys of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal became global on Saturday when hundreds of football fans who are supporters of these two local teams went to see the U-17 World Cup final match which was played between England and Spain at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan putting on the jerseys of their favourite local teams.
For the past one decade, there has been a major change in the behavior of football spectators in Kolkata. Like in the West, several clubs comprising fans have come up in the city and these fans go to see the matches of their favourite local teams wearing their jerseys or paint their face with the official colours that are found in the flags of their favourite teams.
"We have joined the international event wearing the jersey of our favourite club and by doing so we feel proud of our club," said Subhrangshu Roy, sports researcher and historian.
The state government is trying hard to revive the glory of football in Bengal. Clubs, schools, colleges and universities were given footballs free of cost. A theme song for the U-17 World Cup tournament has been composed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she has urged boys and youth to take up the sports seriously. It may be recalled that Bengal till recently was called the Mecca of football in India. The tradition began when Mohun Bagan beat Eastern Yorks in the IFA Shield match in 1911.