It was 2014, the 1st game and opening ceremony of ISL. The match of ATK at Salt lake stadium was attended by 65,000 people. These people of Kolkata attended the match and had experienced a show combined of fire crackers and a great football match with 3 world class goals. The reasons for which the crowd gathered there were to see good football and to be a part of something new. Kolkata is the city of football and first of all we are Bengalis, who are passionate about this beautiful game. It is said that on specific days in a year during derby Bengalis get divided into two teams of “GHOTI” and “BANGAL”. But, in the rest of the days we stay together, we work together and most importantly we are Bengalis, who love football. “ATk” gave us, the people of Kolkata an excellent opportunity to be together and support a team from Kolkata.
In India, previously we were depending upon clubs like Dempo, Mahindra, Shivajians, Churchill brothers and obviously Mohunbagan, Eastbengal for football. But, in fact ISL gave us an opportunity to make things very relevant in future, by giving scopes to represent cities like a Kolkata, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi. It is seen that in modern football world of EPL, Bundesliga how they represent places like Liverpool, Manchester from England and Munich, Dortmund etc from Germany. It will in fact make a compact league and better infrastructure for development. May be every team do not have their individual clubs, but it has been only few years and great things take time. We should be proud of how we have seen players like Anelka, Garcia, Del Piero, Postiga, Roberto Carlos in our pitch. Yes, sometimes the players were older and injured but why we never consider the positive side of how much our young stars can learn from them by playing with those experienced world class legends.
People do not support any club by considering who the owner is. What we need for improvement is good investment, sponsors and most importantly good atmosphere to promote the game. We must appreciate how “ATK” previously known as “Atletico de Kolkata” took a great initiative by directly involving a la liga team like Atletico de Madrid. May be later due to some issue the bond is broken, but still it is a team of Kolkata and it will always represent Kolkata in future. In previous years, in the short amount of time ATK has already won two trophies of ISL, by beating rest of the teams. Should we not appreciate the hard work of the team and adapt the future?
Even when in future ISL will be the only league, we will see every team fighting for their place and supporters backing up the team. It is the best time for us to see things from a greater perspective and come out of the rivalry among the same people of Bengal. After all we are same people of Bengal at first and we cannot hold our excitement when we see the ball goes into the net or Kolkata beats other teams in aspect of football. But, it will be really heartbreaking to see the rest of the India being together and if we, people of Kolkata still stuck into a civil war by creating a chaos among ourselves.
What we need is to respect each other and enjoy the beautiful game. Should ATK deserves these much negativity from it’s own people? At least I do not think the team has done anything to be disrespected.
With due respect to every supporter I urge them to keep alive the rivalry between East Bengal, Mohunbagan as those are different feelings. But please do not try to mix or compare them with ATK. Even from upcoming years if people wish they can support any team from Kolkata, When we will be playing against each others. But, still I request every people from Kolktata to support our team when we are playing against the rest of the cities of India. After all, it is about the pride of Kolkata.
We should appreciate the initiatives as making the league longer than before, providing tickets with regular updates at very reasonable price and finally games on weekends. So, get your tickets soon and do not forget to shout for Kolkata on match days from gallery.