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Know about Calcutta League

The Calcutta Football League (CFL) is the oldest football league in Asia and one of the world’s oldest football competitions.

Organized by the Indian Football Association (IFA) in the state of West Bengal, the CFL features over 160 clubs primarily based in Kolkata. Established in 1898, the league operates as part of the state leagues under the IFA’s administration. 

Today, the CFL encompasses a seven-tier pyramid system, attracting participation from more than 8,500 registered players annually. Here’s all you need to know about the tournament. 


The Calcutta Football League originated in the late 19th century as a pivotal institution in Indian football history. Initially exclusive to British and European settlers, the league excluded Indian teams for its first 15 editions. During this period, British Army sides and clubs comprising civil servants and merchants dominated, with Army teams clinching 23 of the first 35 titles by 1933. This dominance persisted until the landscape began to shift with the emergence of Indian football clubs like Mohun Bagan and Aryan. The entry of Indian clubs into the CFL’s lower divisions from 1914 marked a turning point, challenging the established British-centric order. 

Calcutta Football League teams

Until 1937, the CFL was a nationwide tournament welcoming teams from across India, but it became restricted to Kolkata and Bengal from 1938 onwards. In the ongoing 2024 season, the CFL Premier Division includes 26 teams split into two groups:

Group A: Mohammedan SC, Diamond Harbor FC, Khidirpur, BSS Sporting Club, Kalighat Milan Sangh, Erian Club, Army Red, New Alipore Suruchi Sangh, Southern Samiti, Messrs Club, United Sports Club, Uadi AC, Pathchakra

Group B: East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Bhawanipur, Peerless, Customs, Police AC, Rainbow AC, Kalighat Sports Lovers Association, Railway FC, George Telegraph, Calcutta Police Club, Eastern Railway, Tollygunge Pioneers

Calcutta Football League Winners List

In 1934, Mohammedan Sporting achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Indian team to clinch the top division title in the CFL, a feat they repeated for the next four consecutive seasons. Mohun Bagan secured their inaugural CFL championship in 1939, while East Bengal followed suit with their first title in 1942.

East Bengal leads with 39 titles, making them the most successful team in the league’s history. Mohun Bagan follows closely with 30 titles, and Mohammedan Sporting has claimed 13 titles.

ClubTitles wonYears won
East Bengal391942, 1945, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1961, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Mohun Bagan301939, 1943, 1944, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2018
Mohammedan Sporting141934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1957, 1967, 1981, 2021, 2022, 2023
Calcutta FC81899, 1907, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1925
Dalhousie Club41910, 1921, 1928, 1929
Durham Light Infantry31931, 1932, 1933
Black Watch21912, 1913
Gordon Light Infantry21908, 1909
King’s Own Regiment21904, 1905
North Staffordshire Regiment21926, 1927
Royal Irish Rifles21900, 1901
Eastern Railway11958
Gloucestershire Regiment11898
King’s Own Scottish Borderers11902
Sutherland Highlanders11903
Highlander Light Infantry11906
70th Company Royal Garrison Artillery11911
Argyllshire Highlanders11914
10th Middlesex Regiment11915
Royal Lincolnshire Regiment11917
12th Special Service Battalion11919
Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders11924

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Which is the most successful club in the Calcutta Football League?

East Bengal is the most successful club in the Calcutta Football League, having won 39 titles since the league’s inception. 

When was the Calcutta Football League started?

The Calcutta Football League was started in 1898. It is the oldest football league in Asia and one of the oldest football competitions globally, organized by the Indian Football Association in West Bengal.

How many Calcutta Football League titles has Mohammedan Sporting Club won? 

Mohammedan Sporting Club has won a total of 13 Calcutta Football League titles. They achieved their first title in 1934 and went on to defend it successfully for the next four consecutive seasons.



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