East Bengal Club is an Indian professional multi-sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. Founded in 1920, the club’s primary sport since its foundation had been football and it competes in the Indian Super League, the top flight of Indian football league system, as well as the Calcutta Football League, the oldest football league in Asia. It is one of the most successful football clubs in the country.
Founded in August 1920, the club became affiliated with the Indian Football Association in 1922 before earning promotion to the Calcutta Football League first division in 1924. East Bengal won its first league title in 1942 and has since won it 39 times. The club was also a founding member of the National Football League in 1996 and has won the league title three times.They have also won eight Federation Cups, three Super Cups, a record 29 IFA Shield titles, and a record 16 Durand Cup titles, making the club one of the most decorated in Indian football.
The club is mainly supported by the immigrant population from the eastern region of Bengal , who were forced to leave their homes during the partition of 1947. For those people, East Bengal Club became a source of identity and hope. The huge influx of dispossessed into the state led to a socio-economic crisis. This led to rivalries among the immigrant population and native population of West Bengal in every sphere of life from jobs, and business, to schools and even on football pitches. As a result, East Bengal has a long standing rivalry with its cross-town competitors Mohun Bagan now known as ATK Mohun Bagan which is mainly supported by the native population, with whom it competes in the Kolkata derby, Asia’s biggest football rivalry. East Bengal also shares a local rivalry with another Kolkata club, Mohammedan. The club dons the iconic red and gold colours, which give it the nickname of Red and Gold Brigade.