Dhiman Sarkar of Hindustan Times joined us to talk about the growing concern surrounding the progress or lack of it in the Mecca of Indian football - Kolkata, West Bengal. This is the second part of the Goan football vs Kolkata football discussion we started off with the preceding episode.
Note: Right-click on the above MP3 link and chose "Save target as " or "save link as" to download the file on your computer.
It is an essential topic of discussion because Kolkata football teams arguably remain the most popular names in the country but Goan teams have been winning the tag of Champions in recent years. Cup titles are still not rare for Kolkata clubs. Yet, only one manages to end in the top-5 in the difficult I-League, & two finish second-last & last in the I-League second division round.
Even a team going through a bad patch - say Mohun Bagan on recent form - can draw thousands to the ground for a local game. Yet, it is difficult to name even one local talent of any meaningful stature to have come through the ranks recently. The crowd support turns into a dead weight of expectations, the media interest becomes haunting, the ancient officials refuse to change and the guillotine above the coaches and the players forbids stability from setting in.
After a range of interesting points are raised, Dhiman da offers an easy solution to allow the football in the state regain its glory. Otherwise, in the absence of a learned approach towards the game, the emergence of other footballing power-centres in the country & the change in social habits, the future of Kolkata football looks bleak indeed.
This podcast was also published on East Bengal The Real Power. We insist that you listen the Goan side of things too on our earlier podcast here. And in a democracy, it is imperative that you let your thoughts fly by way of comments.
Also, join Our The Sports Bench Facebook group.
You can also subscribe to Indicast using these channels (its free) to get automatic updates:
East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting, Tollygunge Agragami, Subrata Bhatacharjee, Armando Colaco, Subhash Bhowmick, Santosh Trophy, Shabbir Ali, Edmilson, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Ryan Giggs, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona