Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari is regarded as the father of Indian football as it was he who started the football culture on Indian soil.
Football has always had its craze in India but in the last few years, it has intensified due to the introduction of the Indian Super League. I League was already there and both these leagues have helped in shaping Indian football.
Why is Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari called the Father of Indian Football?
He was the first Indian to start the revolution to bring parity on the football pitch as Indians were not allowed to participate in the game during British rule. In 1877 he kicked the ball back to the Britishers when he was on his way to the Ganga and that was the start of a dream which has gone on to establish Indian football on the world map.
The dream was sparked by an incident when the Wellington Club refused to let in a player of a lower caste and Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari decided to fight for him. He later decided to form his own club and founded the Sovabazar Club with the Royals of Sovabazar and Howrah Sporting Club with the help of Bama Charan Kundu.
He was an inspiration for youths and later went on to be a football icon for the Indians, especially the Bengalis. He took Sovabazar Club to participate in the Trades Cup in 1889 as they became the first Indian club to take part in the competition and created history when they got the better of the East Surret Regiment three years later.
Following Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari’s footsteps, a large number of youths took up football and started to build a sporting atmosphere in and around Kolkata which later spread out to the whole country.
He was also the brainchild behind the formation of the Indian Football Association (IFA) which was established to oversee the football scenario and this institution is still in charge of the Bengal football as it stands.
Not only Sovabazar and Howrah Sporting Club, but a host of football clubs also became operational and it changed the Indian football landscape. Kolkata has always been the Mecca of Indian football and without East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the current scene wouldn’t have been the same.
Recently a Bengali film was released named “Golondaj” was released on the big screen which is based on the life of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari. The Indian club culture still stands strong as both Indian Super League and Ileague have elevated the Indian football scene to another notch and currently, a number of famed foreign players are playing for these clubs.
Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari is truly the father of Indian Football as without his existence Indian’s won’t have access to football so quickly.
Who is the father of Indian football?
Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari is the father of Indian football.
When did Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari die?
Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari died on 17th January 1940.