East Bengal Midfielder Dies In A Fatal Accident...

Shaon Roy  |  Unfortunate  |  8 Months Ago

Exactly, 15 years back East Bengal scripted History as they became the first ever Indian club to win any officially recognised international football tournament —ASEAN Cup back in 2003.


This ASEAN CUP was considered to be a major triumph mostly because the team East Bengal defeated in the final to clinch the trophy was none other than the 2002 AFC Champions League winners, BEC Tero Sasana. The 3-1 win over one of Thailand’s most successful clubs in the Final left the spectators at the Geloran Senayan Stadium in utter cynicism. This was the very same venue where India defeated South Korea 2-1 in the Final to win the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games Gold Medal.


This win brought Indian football under the spotlight, at least in the Asian sphere. Even the reception that the club received at home was stupendous, with almost 20,000 fans swarmed up at the airport and the club ground just to get a glimpse of their Heroes. 


India’s legendary former skipper, Bhaichung Bhutia ended up as the top-scorer in the tournament with eight goals, while Sandip Nandy was adjudged as the best goalkeeper. This ASEAN Cup win gave much deserved media recognition to many players of the team, which came at the best time to give an uplift to Indian football. This triumph will always be considered a golden chapter in the History of the ’97 year old Club. 

Kalia Perumal Kulothungan, was one of the key members of this East Bengal team has lost his life to a road accident. One of India’s better midfielders, Kalia last played for Bhawanipore in the 2nd Division met this fatal accident in his hometown early today. 


Kalia signed up with the Red and Gold brigade back in 2002 and won consecutive I-Leagues titles in 2002-03 and 2003-04 under coach, Subhash Bhowmick. He was one of the few Indian footballers who has played for all the three Kolkata Giants, Mohammedan, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. 


His former teammate at East Bengal Alvito D’cunha too seemed to be shattered by the news, as he told Xtratime, “Yes, I just came to know the news from Chandan. It’s a big loss for his family. He was a brilliant player at his prime. Subhash Bhowmick used to use him as a trump card. A player with a gifted first touch,” he continued saying, “A few days back I was telling Nitu da that in the IFA Shield semi-final against the then Eveready he lifted us with a match-winning goal. A sad day indeed.”


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