Project World Cup

It’s a question we all keep asking ourselves. Especially when we see countries some plagued by civil wars, some with populations of about a million, do it every four years.

The question is obvious: why do we have the worst record in the world (well almost) when it comes to qualifying for the World Cup?

It’s not that we were always like this. Mohun Bagan were the first Asian side to beat an European team in 1911. We missed qualifying for the 1950 World Cup only because we were used to playing barefoot and the World Cup stipulated the wearing of shoes. Throughout the 50s and the 60s, India remained one of the top Asian soccer powers.

But by the 80s and 90s , things had reached their present nadir. PSV Eindhoven, a club team from the Netherlands, were thrashing India in friendlies—-10 goals per match were pumped past the hapless Indians. In the three matches we played against them, India found the back of PSV’s net only once (as far as I can remember) and that too from the foot of Chibuzor, a Nigerian first XI discard who together with Cheema Okerie (also a Nigerian never-been) and Jamshed Nassiri (Iran) were the “stars” of the Calcutta maidan firmament along with some home-grown men like Bidesh Bose and Prasun Banerjee.

Even these “stars”, who to be honest could never hold a candle to their international compatriots, have now vanished: in the World Cup 2006 qualifiers, we lost all but one game and had the ignominy of having been handed a 0–7 drubbing by Japan and a 1–5 by Oman.

And so like every year we are reduced to cheering other countries as they battle for glory in the World Cup—-with football loving Bongs cheering for Brazil simply because there are a few Bong sounding names in the team like Kaka (uncle), Dida (grandmother) and suchlike.

However this impotent backing of other countries, because our country is not good enough, is coming to an end.

Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, effectively the president for life (ala Idi Amin) of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) has announced “Project World Cup”—by which India will be one of the teams playing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Of course, critics point out the fact that the Honorable minister has been saying this for many many years now—usually to justify his one month fact-finding missions (paid by tax payer’s money) to the World Cup where he is frequently accompanied by other ministers –like Kapil Sibal in 2006.

But what the critics dont know is that Priya Ranjan Das Munshi has started a ultra secret training camp for Indian footballers. Since we cannot afford to send them abroad (we have only money to send Priya Ranjan and his family), they have been whisked away to a training facility in Bishtoopur, a sleepy hamlet 133 miles away from Calcutta. The picture to the left is a snap taken secretly at this facility—-the guy in the dhoti is the coach.

Bengali superstar Tapas Paul, having essayed the role of the hero with a foot of gold many many times in Bengali movies knows exactly what is expected of a soccer star. Which is why he has been made captain of the Indian team. In the first picture, he is shown worshipping the God of football, Footballeswari/Footballnath before a game—a wise move since only divine intervention or genetic mutation can make India qualify for the World Cup.

Since the current crop of Indian footballers have traditionally struggled with basic skills like trapping and passing, one of the innovations of the current camp is that fruits plucked from trees are being used in lieu of balls. So hard are these fruits that unless you use the sweet spot of your temple or your feet to hit them, your head will be split open or your feet seriously injured–the threat of grievous bodily harm keeps the players “on their toes”—so as to say. This fruity innovation has been adopted from the nearby colony of monkeys who use this technique to hone their skills. Such has been the rate of progress, that the same simian team that beat the Indians 4–0 a few months ago are currently finding it tough to repeat their success (3–2 in their favour last week).

Innovative training methods are being used where players adopt ambiguously gay positions while heavyweights like Tapas Pal run over them (please see the picture to the left). This has led to the development of upper body muscle and also promoted team-spirit, especially after the lights go out and the chi(m)ps go down.

Since, as mentioned before, tackling has been a persistent problem with the Indian team, players are encouraged to gain possession from a dribbling elephant. Priya Ranjan is currently negotiating with the FIFA to see if the elephant can actually play for the team.

Of course, despite the far-out training methods and the absolute secrecy surrounding “Project World Cup” , Indian fans must understand that Rome was not built in a day. As a result, it very well may be that we are not ready for World Cup 2010. Priya Ranjan has taken that into account.

“We will try hard for 2010. If we can’t succeed, we will try for the next edition (2014),” Munshi said.

And for the next edition. And the next. After all elephants do have long memories don’t they?

Till that happens cheer for Brazil. Or Argentina. Or whichever team catches your fancy.

Just remember not to feel ashamed.

Because AIFF and its sinecured officials sure do not.

[These pictures are taken from the Bangla movie “Antaranga” —more specifically the song sequence “Paanch goleri khodder noy, ek golatei kaat”. No animals were harmed during the making of this movie. Except the desi murgis that found salvation in Tapas Pal’s not-inconsiderable belly.

An excellent post on the “death” of Indian soccer here.]

55 thoughts on “Project World Cup

  1. I’m in phirst. Comments later.

  2. the photographs suggest that the secret mission is to make a team who are both adept at soccer and usual Priya is doubts about that..we hope to capture both the world titles in the near future…hail the GOD of Indian soccer-Priya!!!

  3. Awesome!! Impotent support for Brazil etc…yeah ..true…most people ask how come does a country of billion people not find a place in the world cup- the answer is simple- on a football pitch its not million vs billion but 11 vs 11. And the skill level, fitness level or strength level of indians is not just enough to make it to international football teams that play in the world cup. But people from Jamaica and some other small islands etc take to the game like a duck to water. In the 50s things were different…we had really once in a generation good players and football was hardly the game that it is now- not as fast nor as physical. The fact that Pakistan or Bangladesh are even worse also suggest that the people of the subcontinent are just not up there with with the rest of the world in the “beautiful game”.

    Cricket and its pace is ideally suited for us and well football is/ was never a national game. But you are correct- we could have been better at Asian level barring the apathetic attitude of the AIFF which is so riddled with politics and squibbles. For Calcutta people therefore the current support for soccer is as much due to the love for the game and the traditional rivalry between EB and MB as the past nostalgia of the players like Gautam (that Pele match),PK, Manna, subrata, sukumar, habib, Jamshed , Krishanu and others. But such is the attraction of the game that its very much like the silver screen to us and we tend to identify ourselves to a team. With its universal popularity , it was Brazil since 1970 and after 86 and maradona some Indains became Argentinians. There are a few Italians, Germans and some Dutch too who are seen only during world cup time , not too many Costa Ricans or Ghanians I think.

    But who cares frankly…and hence people like Priya can get away with such foolish statements like 20xx , which are as comical as Tapas Pal or his movies. I dont see India ever playing a world cup unless it qualifies by default as a host- but that too is not possible with the present infrastructure.

  4. it seems that the secret mission is to make a team which is adept at both soocer and rugby..thats the sign of a master planner like Priya..killing two birds with one stone..hail the GOD of Indian football- Priya!!
    btw very good post which aptly reflects the state of Indian soccer..
    did you delete my earlier comment or some divine intervention took place before it got to you?[:)]

  5. sorry it was there..

  6. Mmh! This was a great piece, especially the first part of it – I frankly didnt know about Mohan Bagan, and our team being reasonably good in 1950-60s; I had always assumed football hamare paaon ka khel nahi hain 🙂

    Yes Yes – I think Munshi missed out adding a digit to 2 – perhaps he meant 3010. Mmmh.

    till that happens, I will root for umm dutch.


  7. We were good (read OK) at it before as it did not require or demand the physical commitment. Indinas must be the worst specimens f physical fitness in the world. We must rank behind even Somalia and Eritrea, despite the fact that they dont have food to eat. For example take a look at Ramesh Krishnan – our Internation Tennis Superstar of the yesteryears. The paunch he supported is was unhead of in the annals of world tennis. He might have been the only player to win games with a suprise factor of having a serve so weak – it would bounce twice (thus being an “ace”) before reaching the dumbfounded international opponent used to standing far beyond the baseline when facing other ‘international’ players. We only won in doubles with the Bhupati/Paes era, because it requires more coordination and tandem play than physical fitness. The oympics?? Our gratest assets are Rathore and Limba Ram – both great at events where huffing and puffing are not involved. Rather than spend tax payers money of setting up waste federations and sport ministries – I think we might be more benefited by marketing ourselves as a fan base for all sports – you got game? we got admirers!!

  8. Now we just need to persuade Shatabdi and Debasree to lead the cheerleading squads during the practice sessions and we are all set for 2010. It is so unfair that those lazy cricketers like Shastri, Durani, Patil and Yuvraj get all the models and actresses. Even the Pakistanis and the Caribbeans get their share. And after all that running, what do our footballers look forward to ? Free rice for the rest of their life and a plot of land at Salt Lake? No wonder Sourav gave up on football (and it did work for him as well on all counts).

    Hilarious as usual and thanks for the link.

  9. If India wants to play the World Cup, first thing to do is to give autonomy to the football federation. Throw out Munshi and his kind. Ppl who cannot even kick a ball to save their lives are running the game. Stop their “paid vacations” to the WC. Get some professionals up there.
    The only sport where we are competitive is cricket and it is the only sport run by an autonomous organization (BCCI for all its politics knows how to run the game).

  10. Hey, its the waarld cup, not as spelt

  11. All is not lost. Where Mr. Munshi and his federation have failed, Indian IT hasn’t.

    But really, more than anybody, it is Mr. Munshi who needs to spend some quality time in his secret camp in order to further strengthen his upper(most) body areas (which are already quite strong though). This could be accomplished by any of these ways –

    a) Heading the fruit 400 times an hour, 40 hours a week (we wouldn’t dream of having him train on weekends)
    b) Dribbling under the elephant’s feet (only when it has a bad hair day)
    c) Having the upper(most) body areas massaged by the nimble and fleet-footed Tapasda.

    This training would stand him in good stead for the daunting task of fact research and analysis.

  12. Munshi –> Football
    Gill –> Hockey
    Kalmadi –> Olympic
    The list is endless.
    And people curse Cricket.

  13. Dunno why a drubbing by the Oman team is ignominous. I lived there for a while, and football is

  14. Dunno why a drubbing by the Oman team is ignominous. I lived there for a while, and football is quite a passion there. Footie games are pretty intense too, quite unlike the “war of waggling legs around the ball” that one sees so often here..

    My school (in Oman) generally favoured footie over cricket..

  15. “Kaka (uncle), Dida (grandmother) and suchlike.” – Priceless!

  16. I do not see what is wrong with our football or it’s association……the fact is we have actually failed at cricket and are now slowly doing the same in shooting….after the ’83 world cup we were supposed to start performing like bangladesh but alas!! Also, Maj Rathore needs to be sent to kasmir and his gun on a free ride to a destination of it’s choice on a lufthansa flight…..Lets, give BCCI to Das Munshi too….that is the only way to meet the “goals” as an Indian team!!

    @Shrik, the ignominy is not in loosing to Oman, it is in loosing THAT badly!!

  17. Innovative training methods are being used where players adopt ambiguously gay positions while heavyweights like Tapas Pal run over them (please see the picture to the left). This has led to the development of upper body muscle and also promoted team-spirit, especially after the lights go out and the chi(m)ps go down….ROTFLMAO.

    You are the boss!!

    I agree with Suyog, perhaps he meant 3010. Yesterday, a friend of mine mistook Van Basten for Vijayan…:))). Still trying to get over that.

  18. Fifa president in bribery probe

    Now we know where Mushi-ji wants the Indians to compete at. Probably they need to take lessons from the BCCI big-wigs 😀

  19. “Kheloge Kudoge Banoge Kharab, PaDhoge Likhoge Banoge Nawab.”

    Before we go on blaming Munshi etc, we must look into our attitude first. Our collective failure at any and every sport (barring Kabbadi) is a proof that the problem is not just of AIFF or IHF, the problem is also in our own attitude. How many Indian parents happily allow their kids to pursure sport as a career (or even as a hobby) ? I remember that my dad purposly used to schedule my private tutors visits between 4-6 pm so that I couldn’t go out and play. Whatever success we have had in International sport has been because of individual brilliance of some players (Leander, Bhupathi, Padukone, Popat, Gopichand, PT Usha, Milkha Singh etc).

    Also, please do not use this thread to bash Cricket and cricketers. It has kind of become a fashion to blame cricket for our failure in other sports. IMO we are not that succesful in cricket either, we have never been on top and occasionaly in top 3 and that too because of Individual brilliance of some players on occasions, last WC we won was in 1983, since then even SriLanka have won the WC and Australia have won thrice.

  20. HEH ! I also remember during WC ’90, Priya Ranjan and co. going to Italy, ostensibly on a ‘mission to bring the World Cup to India’ !! AnandaBazar ran an optimistic headline about India playing in the WC……..

    Forget 2010 WC – we should concentrate on building good Asian games and Olympic (under23) teams. And its not that we cannot compete….the usual excuses of stamina, physical build are useless bs.

  21. @Wanderer: Okay…still waiting for the comment.

    @Arin: Football and rugby? Why not?

    @Anon: Experts used to say the thing for Mongoloid people 30 years ago—i.e they were genetically not able to take part in contact sports or in athletics because of their small frames. However the strength of Japan and South Korea in soccer and the domination of the Chinese in athletics have put paid to that theory. In this context, I find it tough to buy that we are, by birth, incapable of being good in football. I understand your point—the average Joe from Ivory Coast may have to put in less effort to be a world-class footballer because of his natural athleticism. But that does not mean that through training, Indians cannot overcome their handicap like the Koreans and the Japanese.

    @Suyog: The Dutch? And why so?

    @Srikanth: Ramesh Krishnan’s pot belly is the stuff of legends. For that matter, our Sania is quite chunky herself with a curved (outwards) belly and fat all over—remarkable considering how much tennis she must be playing.

    @Dipanjan: True. Highly doubtful if Nagma would have given Dada a glance if he was Baichung Bhutia’s strike partner. Point to note: if Dada was the weakest link in the Indian team with respect to fitness and agility, imagine how his weaknesses would have been exposed had he been a professional football player.

    @Dhananjay: BCCI makes money simply because India has a decent cricket record and hence immense fan base. Hand over AIFF to Dalmiya/Pawar and see what happens. Nothing actually.

    @Sameer: Is that a reference to Das Munshi’s accent?

    @Mental Baba: Sounding like the script of “Brokeback Mountain”.

    @An Ideal Boy: And so they do.

    @Shrik: I think the margin of defeat is whats being talked about.

    @Ritesh: 🙂

    @Gourav: Let’s make Priya Ranjan Das Munshi the chairman of Infosys first….

    @Abhijit: Van Basten for Vijayan…ouch.

    @Ashit: Aha. So this explains the ceaseless meetings Priya Ranjan has with FIFA officials…so he wasnt lying after all. They need him more than he needs them it seems.

    @Sanjay: What you say is true. However the insecurities of embarking on a sporting career is something common to all non-Socialist countries. If every other country does it, what makes our parents more paranoid than everyone else? I am not blaming cricket here…but let’s not blame our parents ONLY also.

    @BongoPondit: Of course. We are yet to get the small things right—with the first small thing being, as you point out, being to perform well in the Junior World Cup —a place where one Diego Maradonna first announced his greatness many many years ago.

  22. hi ,
    this is the first time I pierced myself to read ur writting .
    u would be some genious , snobbish person ,
    but u write in great detail , and express urself with
    good quality .

    funny account this was , best thing to do india not being in the world cup .

  23. Nobody bets on football. And I mean the bookies, the bhais and all those assorted denizens of the shady realms. That’s a bit strange. Or as that Raj Zutshi character in Murder (yes, the one starring Mallika, Imran and Ashmit and those bikinis) keeps on saying in that weird accent- “It BAFFLES me!” (I just saw this movie recently and his uvaacha keeps echoing in my head all day!). Given the football mania in places like Malabar, Goa, Bengal etc I wonder why nobody considers “investing” here. Once the moolah comes flowin’ in, perhaps Football might seem an attractive career after all.

    And there’s this intense physical conditioning regimen the playahs are subjected too all through their careers. It’s something more than mere physical strength… its that thing which keeps soldiers marching miles beyond normal distances, soldiers re-forming the lines even if his guts are slithering down his legs…… This sort of love and respect for the game, attitude is not easy to attain just by attending 8 week AIFF camps. You don’t get it just because you were Brazilian colors in football seasons and claim to be a football lover. It’s something more than that. I remember this top player from the Kerala Police who was sent to Germany for world-class training. He came back (or was sent back) ‘coz he simply couldn’t keep up with the regimen…. not that he was weakling or something, he apparently “had no drive”. We are a nation which has consistently topped international special forces “olympics” and multilateral military exercises….. we have pahadi/frontier folks who trek and jog miles and miles of harsh territory just to post a mail or even to fetch some water. So what’s keeping us from winning marathons, long distance running, pentathlons, decathlons, shooting etc…… let alone football?
    IMO, again it’s things like funding and establishment of a system which can sustain sports as a viable career/bread-earner, shaping the people to see sports as another frontier to dominate, make the players view their game as religion, raising the bars in the sports-quota charades etc that could save Indian sports.

    Just my 2 cents.

  24. I think the main issue is there is no support for football (or soccer, if you like it better) at the grassroots. Just look at the US, they hardly had a team 15 years ago, but now, every little boy or girl is part of their school team or club team. How does India expect a good team of adults when their kids have not had proper training or support at a younger age? If you compare India to Brazil, both countries are pretty similar in that respect. Indians are crazy about cricket, Brazilians are crazy about football. Both teams do not have respectable representation in the Olympics and in other sports (although Brazil is a little better than India). If India does want to compete in the 2010 Worldcup or any other tournament, its best to start at the grassroots which helps build a pool of players, and not merely improves the skills of one or two players. I can bet that the US is going to be a football force in the next ten years.

  25. Incase anyone has missed, Bengal’s support for Brazil has made become an international new –

    Check out the Pics, I find it very amusing. 😉

  26. i think a sham-less and face saving commonwealth games event should be mroe of a concern for messrs kalmadi et al rather than dreaming about the 2010 world cup.

    i think alongwith grassroots development we require a fundamental shift in our mindset towards sports other than cricket. the reason why USA are doing well now is that there is an existing system that rewards sporting talent.

    talent in basketball, american football and soccer, as they call it, are tickets to universities there and a viable full time career.

  27. BCCI also has gone in for cricket training programmes. And it is more professional. But yes, very crazy as well.
    BTW what happened to the coup managed by Vijay Mallaya with the AIFF?? It had made a lot of noise. I could not keep track of it because of studies.

  28. Anything of interest in this link to you, GreatBong?

  29. If physical structure is any criterion compare Justine Henin Hardines’ frame to her backhands.any sport has to combine a mindgame , mindset with fitness and practice irrespective of muscles.where mass seems to help Inzy ,blobs of fat r no good for Ramesh Powar.

  30. even if a stupid unit test is lurking around the corner the first thing my hubby wants to stop is my kid’s tennis…thats our attitude.
    btw pictures r gr8!

  31. in a diff context have begun to see some FUN-DA-MENTAL things like HR’s interview wherein he was deeply moved and flattered[actually] that his music was being used for ghost busting activities.

  32. Apparently, the money in football is not all that bad. Of course, they can never match up to the earnings of SRT, RSD or MSD, but overall, they’re doing quite OK.

  33. I noticed that the Trinidadian team had a Dutch coach — which says to me that they’re basically looking for results (and they have them).

    If India wants results, it has to go to a meritocratic system. No results in three years? You’re out. Hire a foreign coach if necessary to get things moving.

    But the other suggestions in the comments seem like good ones too. The university scholarships thing is big — it really puts an incentive there for kids to work hard at sports at the critical age (15-18). The college teams compete against each other, often on television. The teams get endorsement deals with shoe and sports equipment companies, which pay for the scholarships.

    The university where I did my Ph.D., Duke, actually makes millions and millions off of its sports — and still gives out hundreds of ‘free ride’ scholarships to athletes every year.

  34. some of the biggest names in basketball (i donno about american football) have come through the NBA draft which picks the best rookies from NCAA. NCAA being the league for the universities.

    and the English team has a Swedish coach, the Aussies and the South Koreans have a Dutch and some of the Africans have a German coach.

    and ofcourse the Indian cricket team has an Aussie coach. so theres the meritocratic system and it works.

  35. Ok.. Football and Rugby ..we never qualified for the world cup..
    But what happened to our Hockey team? It was so strong but now where is it?

    I guess finally it all boils down to sponsorship and importance given! Specially in the case of international events.

    We give too much of importance to cricket (I am great fan of cricket by the way!) and completely neglect other sports.

    Time to give equal importance for everything and encourage people to make their stand in the world’s view…:)

  36. If Fatakesto was made the captain of the team, then things would have been different…

  37. The Bong connection helped Brazil save the blushes yesterday against Croatia: Dida saved and Kaka scored the only goal.
    All we need is some more Mamas and Dadas in the team (for it to play like a cohesive happy-family unit), and sack Ronaldo before he puts on any more.

  38. Arnab:- We surely would qualify for the WC had Uttam Kumar still been alive … remember his dribbling skills in “Saptopodi” … just sublime …

    I recall in the ’82 Nehru Cup we drew both our matches against both South Korea and Japan – the same tournament in which Enzo Francescoli for Uruguay. We had lost 2-1 to Uruguay, Mihir Bose scoring for India, and the winner for Uruguay by Valentine Ramos. I remember for the ’86 qualifiers, India easily defeated Oman – i still remember the scorers: Bikash Panji and Babu Mani.
    But the scorelines against the same countries these days is just horrific.

  39. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: You wrote: “football loving Bongs cheering for Brazil simply because there are a few Bong sounding names in the team like Kaka (uncle), Dida (grandmother)” – Excellent. How come the analogy didn’t strike us?

    You also wrote: “However this impotent backing of other countries”. This backing is definitely not “impotent”. It has created so many jobs. In Calcutta, so many people stitching together different countries flags, people making posters of different players, drawing huge posters of different players on club walls are furthest from being “impotent backing”. These are all economic factors. Besides, we should not forget the tremendous joy, sheer excitement most ordinary people who have very little means to keep themselves amused feel.

    What is most amusing is that every time any news channel be it NDTV 24×7 or others talk about the World Cup, they are showing video clippings about how Calcuttans (rich, middle class and the poor alike) are dealing with the Cup fever as if the only people in India who admire football live in Calcutta/West Bengal. Sort of your observation about Sourav and Bengali. Now it is football and Bengali (See, finally I came up with an analogy!). In other words some grouping or other – no escape!!

  40. The only Bong connection Brazil missed out possibly is (Wilfred) Bouma who plays for Holland….

  41. Dear Arnab,
    I think you have made a factual error vis-a vis the matches wih PSV Eindhoven. The first two matches were lost 0-7(at Delhi) and 1-8 (at Bangalore)respectively, and in the 3rd match , the IFA eleven took on the foreigners, and that too was lost 0-4. The only indian goal scorer in the se 3 matches was Bikash Panji, (and not Chibuzor as you said).Anyway, yor blog was a great read, as usual.

  42. @Gane Ke Mood: Me snobbish? Where did that piercing argument come from?

    @The Wanderer: No drive. Hmm. Here’s the chicken and egg thing —–people say they dont have the drive to pursue sports other than cricket because there is no recognition. However recognition doesnt come like “reserved seats”—it has to be earned. Cricket earned its adulation—winning WC83 was what really made cricket the national craze it is today.

    @Natraj: US is a rich country. We just do not have the infrastructure they have in the schools. Not that soccer needs a whole lot of infrastructure but proper coaching and development of basic skills required specialized “gym teachers” in schools–now how many can afford that?

    @Sanjay: So it is.

    @Ravi: Again US isnt exactly a fair comparison.

    @Dhananjay: Beats me….

    @Deep3Man: Perhaps :-)…the director is hilarious. Mithun-da as Jyoti Basu….wow.

    @Varsha: True. My sporting development was stunted by my parents who obsessed with my studies. Of course I do not claim any loss to the sporting world as a result of that.

    @Gaurav: Before money we should be talking about skill. And our soccer players just do not stand up to any kind of standards.

    @Amardeep, Ravi: We have hired foreign coaches. It has proved to be a disaster simply because we cannot afford the best (soccer does not pay for itself in the country). One of the foreign coaches we hired was a demented chap who reportedly used to physically and verbally abuse Indian football players.

    We dont have Duke universities in India and college sport, as an organized money-making enterprise, is absent. Forget soccer. Cricket has a ready-made franchise—yet why don’t we see the nation tuning into IITKgp vs Jadavpur University ?

    However inspite of having a poor system in place, we are able to produce champion cricketers. And other countries in the throes of civil war and famine are able to throw up soccer stars? So maybe the problem is much more basic.

    @Shark: Simply because we were never fast enough to handle Astro turf…

    @SS: Dholai….Bangla dholai..

    @Deep: Poor Ronaldo…..the booing as he left the field raised the all-important question: “Why does it get so tough for champions to know when is the best time to leave?”.

    @Bonatellis: Yes true…those early 80s Nehru cups were awesome…the talent we saw was just phenomenal…my favorite was Lazlo Kiss…

    @yourfan: It’s impotent as ultimately its a little sad that we have to support countries we have no ties to simply because we will never be good enough to play the World Cup. The impotency lies in our acceptance of that fact.

    Why, if you see one of the comments above, there is a link to a BBC article which says how football fever has gripped Calcutta…

    So there you have it.

    @SS: 🙂

    @Pritam: I may have been wrong….I have no supporting evidence here. What you say may well be right—however I can still see the goal in my mind (maybe I am confusing it with something else) of a very very hard, close range shot by Chibuzor (Bikas Panji) that hit the PSV goalie’s hand and he could not hold onto it…

  43. @Yourfan:
    you write – “Excellent. How come the analogy didn’t strike us?”

    well, i think that is precisely why you are “yourfan” … had it been the other way round (that is, had it struck you before it struck GB) may be Arnab’s blog-nick would have been completely different – something like “yourfanFAN” 😉


  44. mmmmmmmmm delicious… a real “kick” in the backside for Mr. D”ass” Munshi…

    Loved the part of the players going down on each other… ooops i mean the part abt the chips being down 😀

  45. We need a serious sports policy to be chalked out and IMPLEMENTED for survival in all sports including soccer.
    Sports needs nothing but dedication and hard work. Some of Indian players who made it at world level like Prakash Padukone, Vijay Amritraj, Michael Ferreira etc made it because of their own talent and dedication. But for India to get a visible success at world level, Government should also have a plan for upliftment in sports (Suresh Kalmadi and all previous ministers did nothing but used corruption to fill their own pockets).
    We can even just follow examples of China etc.

  46. YOURFAN writes:
    @bonatellis: You came over here after a hiatus – at least your comments were not here for some time. In one of my earlier comments I said the same thing (you wrote “well, i think that is precisely why you are “yourfan””) to GB about being able to think of the analogies so quickly and aptly – that is why you are GB and I am yourfan. Thanks for having the same view at least on this point.

  47. @yourfan:
    my comment wasn’t meant to belittle you in any way … it was just a normal smart alec kinda comment :p

  48. YOURFAN writes:
    @bonatellis: You wrote: “my comment wasn’t meant to belittle you in any way … it was just a normal smart alec kinda comment :p”. I never thought that you intended to belittle me. Anyway, thanks for being sensitive – and it is not sarcasm.

  49. YOURFAN writes:
    @bonatellis: Oh,I forgot to mention one thing. Since you are from Calcutta(also from Mumbai) you must be partially familiar with Bengali. Your suggestion of GB’s nick name ever being (I say NEVER) yourfanFAN sounds pretty similar to yourpyaanpyaan in Bengali. Roughly translated it means yourwhiningwhining which is definitely not a good idea considering that we are talking about GB who shoots his views from his heart, soul, brain – he definitely does not whine.

  50. What… Mithun da in the Indian football team? He should be coach, captain and manager…..

    ee saala….main tumhare sar ke saat football khelunga….:-)

  51. janona…

    The Brazilian team is actually Bangali in disguise. Mix the colors of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting and you get the brilliant green and yellow Brazilian flag

    That ensures that we Bongs take part hush hush conditions in the world cup …otherwise if we dominated the Indian phootball team so well, Orjoon Singho would have asked for reserbhations there too !

  52. Ranjan Chakravarty June 22, 2006 — 1:22 am

    Forward from a friend:

    The World Cup 2006 is on, and how! Jome Kulpi !

    Yesterday history of sorts was made when Vikash Dhorasoo of France became the first player of Indian origin to play in the finals. And he almost got France the winner.

    Well, Dhorasoo may be the only Indian in fray, but there are a lot of Bongs in action. Firstly, there is another French player, Louis Saha, related to Meghnad. The absence of Denmark means that the hordes of Badyis are missing out this time. However, a few players from the famous Sen family are playing, like Jan Sen of Germany and Ol Sen of USA. England’s goalkeeper, however, spells his name SON instead of Sen, but he was Robin Sen to begin with.

    Lot of Bongs are playing under nick-names, especially for African teams. Togo’s goalkeeper is Kossi Agassa, which in Chittagongese means fledgling weed. Another African nation, Ghana, has our own Sri Shiladitya, who has Africanised his name to Illiasu Shilla. Ghana also has Gyan. Then there is Kali playing for Angola. I remember 35 years ago a midfielder called Kali Babu Sharma playing for the big clubs in Calcutta – Angola’s Kali must be a relative. Then Ivory Coast has Boka, whose full name need not be mentioned, but the second part starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘a’. Kalou of Ivory Coast hails from Phuliya. Ivory Coast also has Bakary Kone, who once lived in the corner of Lord’s bakary.

    European teams have their Bongs, too. That small boy is playing for Germany, in fact he is the captain. Balak is his name, now Germanised to Ballack. Then there is that super strong player for Croatia, Balaban. Then there is Manish Ray of Portugal, now called Maniche Rai. Spain has a Bong who is very lazy and never hits the ball – Marchena.
    Some Bong players are using their family names. Dear Kaka scored a great goal for Brazil yesterday. Brazil’s goalie is Dida, obviously breaking the gender bias (and the age barrier). Brazil of course broke this gender bias long ago, when they fielded Didi in the 50s and early 60s. That player has now retired from football and returned to Bengal as a political leader.

    Aruna Kone and Aruna Dindane are two Ivorians who have also triumphed over gender bias.

    Then Togo has a strange player who is also using a family name, or two, to be exact. These are Mashi and Mesho, and the player is very, very fit or ‘changa’. The name has been Africanised to Massamesso Tchangai – an ‘Ordho-Narishwar’ sort of player.

    Tunisia has another player who is obviously Bong and obviously suffering from that dreaded Bong disease of ‘amasha’. He now calls himself Karim Haggui.

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