Category Archives: Indian Football

The Indian connection in Norway: Harmeet Singh

Far away from the ‘land of the five rivers’ that is Punjab, a 20 year old boy from ethnic Punjabi background born and bred in the freezy territories of Oslo, is rising to the very perch of Norwegian football in the picturesque lands of the Valerenga neighborhood of Oslo. Harmeet Singh is the name and being a central midfielder is his trade. While Rosenborg still exert their dominant reputation on Norwegian football and while Ole Solskjaer’s Molde has actually run away with the Tippeligaen, Norway’s premier club competition, this Norwegian footballer has been creating waves not just across his ‘homeland’ but is also on the scouting agendas of some of the ‘bigger’ clubs in Europe.

Singh, alongside fellow countryman Mohammed Fellah and Havard Nielsen, have established themselves as the shining light of a club that for so long has been consigned into the shadows of Rosenborg in Norway, but a club that has now started to challenge for greater honours, Valerenga with Harmeet Singh in full flow finished 2nd in 2010 and are currently sixth with a game in hand, winning which they’d rise to 2nd again in the incumbent Tippeligaen season of 2011.
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Of JCT’s demise and the dominion of doom in Indian Football.

JCT crest

Phagwara based football club JCT FC(prev. JCT Mills), for long the face of football in the Northern parts of India, was disbanded yesterday, confirming rumours that had been going around the Indian footballing circles for the past few weeks. The news  landed a bitter blow on the face of Indian Football and the trend is worrying, for two India’s leading clubs JCT and Mahindra United have both disbanded within the last one year citing a lack of popularity of the domestic clubs and televsion coverage of football in the country.

JCT, winners of the inaugaral National Football League(now the I-League) in the 1996-97 season, have been home to some of India’s leading stars- Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, I.M. Vijayan, Renedy Singh and Jo-Paul Ancheri amongst others. JCT had for long  been fighting a lone battle to increase football popularity in these parts of the country and give the people up north their go-to club, becoming the first non-Kolkata club to win the IFA Shield in the process along with that inaugaral NFL title. Despite the flourish that they once had, the last couple of years for them had been much less successful, often been dogged by debts and insufficient finances. The team’s relegation in the last I-League season acted as the final nail in the coffin, pulling them beyond the point of no return resulting in the club’s professional football team being disbanded, though their works at the grass roots and their much famed youth academy would still function.
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