KOLKATA: Football's global governing body FIFA on Wednesday added a cherry on top of Mohun Bagan's foundation day cake as they termed the iconic football team as more than just a club after it became the country's first sports entity to feature on the NASDAQ billboard in New York's Times Square.
"When you make a billboard of skyscraping prestige and dazzling beauty at @TimesSquareNYC, you know you have become way more than just a club. Happy #MohunBaganDay2020 to one of the most passionately-supported clubs on the planet," FIFA said in a tweet from their official Twitter handle.
The Mohun Bagan Day is celebrated every year on July 29 to commemorate the team's IFA Shield triumph in 1911, when they beat East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 to become the first Indian club to end the British stranglehold on the tournament.
The 131-year-old club scaled new heights on Wednesday when the American stock exchange paid glowing tribute to Mohun Bagan by displaying the club's logo and colours on its billboard. "The pictures from NASDAQ are testimony to the fact that Mohun Bagan belongs to a different league. Huge day for all the Mariners!! Happy Mohun Bagan Day Mariners!!" a statement said on Mohun Bagan's official Twitter handle.
The century old club's footballing rights were recently acquired by the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group which holds a majority stake of 80 per cent. The new entity is called ATK Mohun Bagan FC and will take part in the Indian Super League (ISL) from this season. Ashok Kumar, a key member of India's 1975 World Cup-winning hockey team, was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion of its foundation day. This year's Mohun Bagan Ratna was presented to hockey legend Gurbux Singh and former cricketer Palash Nandi.
Due to the global pandemic situation, the club management conducted the Mohun Bagan Day celebrations in digital platforms of the club.
The Awardees: Mohun Bagan Ratna: Gurbux Singh (Hockey) and Palash Nandi (Cricket); Lifetime Achievement: Ashok Kumar (Hockey), Pranab Ganguly (Football), Monoranjan Porel (Athletics); Best Footballer: Joseba Beitia (Senior); Best Youth Player: Sajal Bag (U-18 team); Best Administrator: IFA Secretary Joydeep Mukherjee. (IANS)