Road running

Kolkata's Mohammedan SC to join hands with Dhaka Mohammedan

Kolkata’s Mohammedan SC and Dhaka’s Mohammedan SC are set to revive their old partnership, The Bridge can confirm. The nature of the collaboration between the two sides are set to be announced jointly by the directors of both clubs at a press conference at the Kolkata club’s tent on Friday.

Dhaka Mohammedan SC Director and Football Secretary Abu Hassan Chowdhury, better known as Prince in Bangladeshi football, landed in India on Thursday evening.

Speaking to the Bridge, he said, “We share a very old relationship with Kolkata Mohammedan SC. My father, the senior vice-president of Dhaka Mohammedan, was in 1986 also the honorary vice-president of Calcutta Mohammedan. Manik, Johnny and Kaiser played for the Calcutta club during Abba’s time.”

Prince said the exact terms of the contract and sponsorship details will be announced later, but that he first wants to revive old ties on his first visit.

“There has been a long gap in communication. We want to initiate a bonding between the present generations of the two clubs. Kolkata Mohammedan will travel to Dhaka for pre-season friendlies and we will come to Kolkata for our pre-season friendlies. We will exchange underage players and retired players to be part of the coaching staff. Once we begin, the possibilities are endless,” he said.

Talks are also underway between Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Club and East Bengal, with both clubs having indicated the possibility of an investment opportunity. The financial nature of the international Mohammedan partnership is thus an inevitable question. The clubs’ bosses said talks are in too initial a stage to comment on that.

The Dhaka Mohammedan club have recently come through a period of crisis after their old management was replaced. It is learnt that the new investors in the Bangladeshi club were keen on getting into a partnership with the Kolkata giants. The Dhaka club are one of the most popular in the Bangladesh Premier League, having finished as runners-up thrice. They were briefly coached by former Indian captain Syed Nayeemuddin in 2017, who also coached the Calcutta Mohammedan side in the 1980s and in 2011.

Kolkata’s Mohammedan SC, on top of the I-League table currently with 19 points from 8 matches, are looking for an entry into the ISL next season. They have been trying to collaborate with European clubs Juventus, Besiktas and Fulham on financial and technical terms. But before that, it seems they will have their Bangladeshi cousins on board.

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