EBRP Football Fest: As the day unfolded
Founded in the year 2006, a decade old fan club of a century old Football Club, East Bengal the Real Power or EBRP as it is abbreviated, is more than just a fan club. They started their journey on 15th of November, 2006 to be precise and now, has over a hundred thousand hearts connected. Same passion: Football, same love: East Bengal, same platform: EBRP!
The day begins:
18th June,2017 was the date. Hundreds of football fanatics came down to NKDA stadium, New Town despite the scorching heat on a humid summer morning. On a fresh Sunday morning, one could have chosen to have an hour of extra sleep, one could have chosen a hangout with friends, one could have chosen to spend some quality time with family or one could have certainly chosen to chalk out the plans, getting the cushions in place on the sofa, calling out friends, inviting them to their place, getting hold of a great lunch, and some cold drinks to hang out. After all, that day was the Champions League final, when arch rivals India and Pakistan was locking horns to win the trophy!
But wait. None of the above options were chosen. Some die hard fans, bound by the same thread, chose to wake up early in the morning, have a quick shower, wear the traditional Red and Gold, and come down to NKDA stadium. It was the grand annual gathering, which they call “The EBRP Football Fest”. Hundreds to people meet up, a lot of emotions exchanged and hey, look around! The stadium is painted Red and Gold. It’s the very same color that we have grown up watching, we have grown up loving and we have grown up fighting for! A tribute to the parent club, East Bengal and what better way than this. Those who founded EBRP 10 years back were found blending in with the very fresh bloods of the fan club. The breeze around seemed to carry a different freshness with it, beyond all the restrictions of daily schedule in the race of life.
The focus of the day:
The day was chalked out by the committee members. The main attraction was the much anticipated EBRP Football Tournament. 8 teams were participating in the tournament. The matches were longed 20 minutes each, accounting for 10 minutes a half. However, many such instances occurred when the referee forgot to blow the whistle on time, thanks to the nail biting, heart throbbing, scintillating actions taking place on the field.
The following are the list of teams who not only participated, but played their heart out in pursuit of the taste of glory.
-> Real Power Asean Armada
-> Real Power Bangal Battalions
-> Real Power Born to Win
-> Real Power Burning Torch
-> Real Power Derby Dynamites
-> Real Power Pancha Pandavas
-> Real Power Penta Crown
-> Real Power Since 1920
The teams were lined up after the preparatory player auction was held before matchday. 8 different jerseys were handed out to the 8 captains who then had the responsibility to get his team tied up in the colors assigned to them. The Referee alongside the 8 teams entered the field. The National Anthem marked the beginning of the journey.
Each team had 12 players, 9 of them took the field and had rolling substitution available. Along the side line, each team had the guardian vision of the mentor and the manager who backed their team in all off their ups and downs.
The stadium was divided into two as simultaneously two matches were taking place side by side. Since two 9 a side matches were going on in full pace along the breadth of the field, the spectators on the stands were sometime loosing track. Which game to follow and which one to miss? Amidst all this, one thing was certain and that is the excitement was never coming down.
Kick off, passes, receives, clearance, headers, shots, saves, punts, throw- ins, corners, tackles, fouls, free kicks, bookings, dribbles, nutmegs, zig-zags and of course goals. These all were parts of the matches. No one was ready to give up an inch of the ground as the matches were hard fought. Some ended in draws and some had decisive winners and losers. After each match, one camp was happy and over joyed. While the other camp was sad and gloomy. However, the rivalry lasted 20 minutes only, as long as they were on the pitch. After the match, players were spotted hugging each other, congratulating each other and having a laugh about the match. After all, they all fall under the same umbrella, named EBRP.
Since the matches span for 20 minutes only, some of them went down to the wire. The fate of the warriors was to be decided on penalty shoot outs. What had the dimensions of a hockey bar, looked like that of a 8 foot tall, 8 yards apart post. All the credit goes to the fierce penalty strikes by the player as within a blink of an eye, the ball was in the back of the net. It will be abhorrent to take away the credits from the goal keepers as they did manage to keep a few shots out as well, which meant the difference between victory and defeat.
The tournament was structured in a round robin way. 8 teams were divided into 2 groups of 4 teams each. From both the groups, 2 teams advanced to the playoff stages. Their position was then decided keeping in mind their performance in their respective groups and the points they had on board. After that, the playoffs were not traditional Semi Finals but took the shape of the playoffs of the famous cricket league of India, the IPL.
The stadium lit with when ex- Bengal cricketer Avik Chowdhury joined the herd. He was the brand ambassador of this year’s EBRP Football Fest. Once a pacer for the Bengal Ranji Trophy team, unfortunate Avik is now paralyzed. However, that does not stop him from coming down to the fest, as he also dissolves in the excitement and madness, quite quickly.
Now coming to the story of Rony. Rony Das, a die hard East Bengal supporter who never missed even a single match of East Bengal. That was the level with which Rony was passionate of East Bengal. However, life was harsh on him as he met with an accident on his way home from a match, back in march. He lost his right leg.
EBRP donated 80 thousand rupees to his family back then for his treatment. On 18th of June, 2017, on the day of much merriment, when so many people was happy all around, Rony was invited as a special guest to the fest. EBRP donated a sum of 1 lac 10 thousand on that day to Rony for the completion of his treatment. Rony also received a wheel chair from the fan club. EBRP knows the passion of a true East Bengal fan, and this was their small attempt to bring back a fan to where he belongs. EBRP hopes that someday, Rony can go back to the stadium and watch his beloved team play in the ever glorious Red and Gold colors.
Former East Bengal goalkeeper, Abhijit Mondal handed Rony the cheque of 1 lac 10 thousand and it was veteran mid fielder, Mehtab Hossain who handed Rony the wheel chair.
After the lunch break, the teams took on the field once again. The first and the second positioned team played the qualifier 1. The winner qualified directly for the final and the loser had once extra chance to hanging on. Side by side, the third and the fourth placed side played the eliminator. The loser was eliminated and the winner played the loser of qualifier 1 in the next match, which was qualifier 2. From there, the winner took the second and the final berth in what happened to be the grand finale.
The final was played out between Real Power Burning Torch and Real Power Panch Pandavas. A final throw of the dice, one last attempt, give all you have and then rejoice the moment. Words like these must have been fed into the minds of the players by the managers and mentors of both the teams. Beating all the odds, it was the Panch Pandavas who had the last laugh. A laugh of success, a laugh of joy, a laugh of accomplishment. And as it happened, a laugh of the champions.
Before the prize distribution ceremony, two other matches were played. One was the EBRP presidential match which was played between the veterans of the fan club. The other one was played between EBRP Seniors versus EBRP Juniors. Two East Bengal jewels, Saumik Dey and Abhra Mondal were present at that time and took charge of both the teams in the presidential match. The Senior Junior match, on the other hand ended in an upset where the Juniors were triumphant by a solo goal.
The Day Concludes:
It was time to wind up a beautiful and memorable day. A day which marks yet another success in the calendar of EBRP and team East Bengal, as a whole. Time for the prize distributions, tadaaa. Sayan Deb got the best Goal Keeper award, Anirban Chatterjee won the highest Goal Scorer award. Sourav Guin was adjudjed Best Player of the tournament. Team Burning Torch was handed the runner’s up trophy before Pancha Pandavas could pounce upon the Winner’s trophy.
Such a massive success could only be scripted with the support of others as well, alongside your own hard work and dedication. Ekapiens is proud to be the Online Media Partner of such an event!
Here is the big list of other partners of EBRP for the fest:
1》 ONGC- Official Title Partner
2》 24 Ghanta- Official Channel Partner
3》 91.9 Friends FM- Official Radio Partner
4》 KORUSKRATE- Associate Partner
5》 Gingerbread House Ind- Edu. Awareness Partner
6》 Bhushan POWER & Steel Ltd- Kit Partner
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7》 BiswaBangla Sangbad
8》 Twin Sports & Events
9》 Framework Pvt Ltd
10》 Blue Copper Technologies
11》 100 Miles
12》 Coffee O’ Kobita
13》 Biker’s Hub
14》 Books Pouriee
15》 Mahindra First Choice Adrich Automotive Works
16》 Meetel Computers & Coated Paper Co.
17》 RVS FORMS Pvt Ltd.
18》 Pearls Consumer Goods Ltd.
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