Sunday, July 5, 2009

5 July 1934 - The Black Panthers Of Calcutta

On 5 July 1934, Mohammedan Sporting Club clinched the Calcutta Football League title, the first of five consecutive titles for the club.

The club, nicknamed the Black Panthers, was established in 1891 as Jubilee Club, and was known briefly as Crescent Club and Hamidia Club before settling on the name Mohammedan Sporting. They played in the CFL lower divisions until they were promoted to the premier division for the 1934 season. That year, Mohammedan Sporting edged Dalhousie Club by three points to become the first Indian club to win the premier division of the CFL.

Currently, the CFL is run by the Indian Football Association and consists of 157 teams in seven divisions. The league is based primarily in the city of Kolkata and is separate from the nationwide I-League, whch is run by the All India Football Federation. Teams can compete in both leagues, with Mohammedan Sporting playing at present in the premier division of the CFL and in the Second Division of the I-League (having been relegated from the First Division at the end of the 2008-09 season).

Mohammedan Sporting won their last CFL title - their 11th - in 1981. Since then, the title has gone to either the East Bengal Club (31 titles) or current holders Mohun Bagan (26 titles).

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