Kick-Starting Indian Football

At the London Olympics in 1948, something happened that even a year earlier would have seemed utterly outlandish, the extravagant daydream of an overly proud Mohun Bagan supporter. The national football team, barely a year after India’s day of independence, were to face off against perennial European powerhouse France in their first Olympic fixture.

And while the pitch may only have been lowly Ilford FC’s Lynn Road ground rather than the hallowed turf of Wembley or Highbury, this historic event took place in England, the home of football. India lost the match 1-2, but Sailen Manna – revered by some as India’s greatest ever footballer – and his teammates could look back on their achievement with pride.

…read more at The NRI…

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