The Mariners are set to become the first Indian club to have to join the prestigious grouping.
Italian giants AS Roma have acknowledged a lot of football clubs all around the world through their special Twitter Team of the Day feature. Indian teams like Mumbai City FC and Gokulam Kerala earlier featured in their twitter, but now it was time for India’s oldest club, Mohun Bagan AC.
Mohun Bagan are a club with a rich history and heritage formed way back in 1889 and since then the Mariners have been the flag bearers of Indian football. The iconic 1911 IFA shield win over East Yorkshire Regiment marked as an important incident in the country’s struggle for Independence.
Roma have previously extended their arm towards Indian clubs as they auctioned first team jerseys in order to raise funds for the Kerala flood. They have also acknowledged Mumbai City FC’s efforts to promote the sport in the state on the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks.
#ASRoma‘s Twitter Team of the Day is legendary Indian club @Mohun_Bagan. Founded in Kolkata in 1889, the I-League side are one of Asia’s oldest clubs. For a team who won their first title playing barefoot in 1911, they’ve not done badly – going on to lift over 100 trophies! ???????? pic.twitter.com/jkXlApNgI7
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 3, 2019
However this is not the only news coming from the Kolkata giants, the Mariners are reportedly rumoured to join the prestigious group of Club of Pioneers. It is a group of clubs started by Sheffield FC, worlds oldest football club and it connects the oldest existing clubs all around the world. The group mainly focuses on uniting the heritage of like-minded clubs from every corner of the globe.
The United associations of so many clubs from all around the world open up a space filled with footballing legacy. The Club of Pioneers currently consists of 22 clubs including Sheffield FC. Legacy clubs like Queens Park FC from Scotland, FC St. Gallen from Switzerland, Wrexham AFC from Wales, Hong Kong FC from Hong Kong, Royal Antwerp FC from Belgium, Albion FC from Uruguay, Real Club Recreativo de Huelva from Spain, etc are few such clubs part of the Pioneers – oldest in their respective countries.
Their official Facebook page also shared a picture of a glorious football match back in 1977 when Mohun Bagan hosted NY Cosmos with the legendary Brazilian footballer, Pele. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
It will be a matter of huge honour for Mohun Bagan if they join the Club of Pioneers, which will allow the oldest in India to compete against the oldest clubs in the world in the prestigious Pioneers Cup. The deal will open up new boundaries for the Mariners and an International recognition can spark up a deal with potential investors.
Mohun Bagan are currently in economic doldrums and they are in dire need of an investor to revive the club’s heritage. The Mariners were pretty average in the recently concluded I-League season as they finished fifth in the league table.
Hopefully this deal of joining the Club of Pioneers opens up newer horizons for one of the oldest clubs in Asia and will rejuvenate the club’s rich legacy in taking promoting football in India.