Air India F.C.
Air India FC, is an Indian professional football club founded by Anand Prajapati in 1952, based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. They are sponsored by Air India and have enjoyed some success in the Mumbai Football League.
|Full name||Air India Football Club|
|2012–13||I-League, 13th (Relegated)|
Founded in 1952, Air India Football Club is one of the oldest institutional sides in the country. Though never considered as frontrunners in the I-League, the Mumbai-based club has often proved to be a thorn in the flesh for many top sides. They used to play in NFL 2nd Division but got promoted to Premier Division and have maintained their position there till now. Generally a low budget side, Air India's best finish in the National Football League (now I-League) came in the 1997–1998 season when they were placed sixth in the table and their coach Bimal Ghosh received the Best coach award.
Four times champions in the local league in Mumbai, Air India are best known for nurturing youngsters into big time players. Many of these boys have played with distinction for bigger teams in the later years.
Air India FC had been playing in the Premier Harwood League since 1980. The team though qualified for the National Football League in 1995. In 1996 the club finished 6th in the League and then 5th in 1997.
After being relegated to the second division in 1998, Air India paved their way back into the first division the next year and played in the National Football League in 2000 as well. The years 2001 to 2004 saw Air India going through a tough phase as they were playing in the second division. In 2005 the team qualified to the National Football League first division and then 2007 saw Air India finishing 7th and were the Mumbai Harwood Champions in 2005.
On 25 February 2012 it was announced that parent company Air India do not have any plans on fulfilling the AFC Criteria required to play in the league and thus may fold the club by the end of the 2011–12 I-League season.
Air India has always used a crest different from the logo of the parent company. For the 2011–12 season, however, Air India used the parent logo on both the home and away jersey.
To keep up with their image of being a sponsor of aircraft company Air India the club decided to make the colours of the club red which is the colour associated with the aircraft Air India.
Air India have always played at the Cooperage Ground for all their home games. As of today Air India FC play at the 5,000 seater Cooperage Ground. While renovations took place, Air India played at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.
Since the beginning Air India Football Club has been owned by airline company Air India which currently own a hub at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is where the club is located.
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
- As of 13 June 2019
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
As of 2 March 2013
- National Football League 2nd Division
- Winners: 1999-00
- Durand Cup
- Winner: 2012
- "Indian Football News 25th February 2012 – Mohammedan SC and Kalighat MS suffer crippling blows before div two final round". The Hard Tackle. Retrieved 14 April 2012.