Mohun Bagan do a first, again
Mohun Bagan Day on Wednesday was celebrated in a way that no Indian sport club had ever done, ticking another box in the "national club's" list of achievements.
Mohun Bagan featured on the Nasdaq, the American stock exchange, billboards at New York's Times Square, with its logo and colours being displayed. One display was in Bengali and the other in English.
"Three slots were reserved for our club, marking Mohun Bagan Day," Bagan finance secretary Debashis Dutta told The Telegraph.
While unwilling to reveal how much it had cost the Maidan giants, Dutta said: "Yes, it is a lot of money but that is not the only thing. Nasdaq looks into a number of aspects before featuring any entity on their billboard.
"For the past few months, ever since we got in touch with them with the proposal, they had asked for a series of documents highlighting the club's history. One of our fans, New York-based Gaurav Roy, also helped with the liaising."
Mohun Bagan Day is celebrated every year on July 29, to commemorate their IFA Shield triumph in 1911 over British team East Yorkshire Regiment. The victory of an Indian club over a British one is seen as a catalyst for India's freedom movement.
Founded in 1889, the club has supporters across the globe, and is part of huge nostalgia for the Bengali diaspora.
Fifa also took note of the display, with its official handle tweeting: "When you make a billboard of skyscraping prestige & dazzling beauty @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."
"It is a matter of huge pride for our club and all fans. It shows the kind of stature the club enjoys. No Indian sports club has ever featured on something like this. We wanted to do something very different," Dutta added.
As part of the celebrations in Calcutta, webinars were organised on Wednesday. Hockey stalwart Ashok Kumar, a key member of India's 1975 World Cup-winning team, was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Gurbux Singh and Palash Nandi were given the Mohun Bagan Ratna award.