Sport­ing Ben­gal United, England

Sporting Bengal Squad

Sport­ing Ben­gal play in the Essex League


Sport­ing Ben­gal is a project of the Bangladesh Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion (BFA), a reg­is­tered char­ity and umbrella group work­ing in the Lon­don Bor­ough of Tower Hamlets.

The team was estab­lished in 1996 to chal­lenge the under-​representation of Asians in foot­ball and to offer Bangladeshi/​Asian young peo­ple a chance to play foot­ball at higher level. In eight years the team rose from ama­teur Sun­day league foot­ball to semi-​professional foot­ball. Today, the club offers local young peo­ple of all back­grounds the oppor­tu­nity to play semi-​professional foot­ball in the Essex Senior Foot­ball League. The team inspires and moti­vates local young peo­ple, even those who have pre­vi­ously offended or have not done well at school, to focus on some­thing they are good at and cen­tre their life around it. It has turned around and improved the lives of many young peo­ple. It broke down many bar­ri­ers and was one of the first Asian teams to play in the famous FA Cup. The team over­came many chal­lenges and achieved many awards and recog­ni­tions along the way. The team is a suc­cess story and a role model for other Asian teams across the country.

Sport­ing Ben­gal is well known amongst the foot­balling cir­cle, includ­ing the Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion, Pro­fes­sional Foot­ballers Asso­ci­a­tion, Kick It Out and other foot­ball bod­ies. It is famous and well known within the Bangladeshi/​Asian com­mu­nity in the UK and in Bangladesh. It takes part in national tour­na­ments includ­ing the annual UK Asian Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow, Scotland.

The vet­er­ans team was set up a few years ago to pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for for­mer play­ers to con­tinue play­ing com­pet­i­tive foot­ball, share their expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge with local young­sters, pro­vide coach­ing sup­port, and stay in con­tact in one another. The squad that will play in the Dublin tour­na­ment com­prises of play­ers from the orig­i­nal team and teams from the early years.


BFA deliv­ers projects to sup­port the devel­op­ment and well­be­ing of chil­dren, young peo­ple and adults, includ­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and women and girls. The main aim of BFA is to improve the lives of young peo­ple using sports, in par­tic­u­lar football.

BFA organ­ises youth, adult and vet­er­ans foot­ball leagues and tour­na­ments for the com­mu­nity and rep­re­sents over 80 adult and youth foot­ball teams. Other projects include; vol­un­teer­ing pro­grammes, employ­ment & train­ing projects, accred­ited and non-​accredited train­ing courses, men­tor­ing projects, hol­i­day pro­grammes for chil­dren, women and girls exer­cise and lead­er­ship projects, dis­abil­ity foot­ball ses­sions, Olympic legacy project for Black, Asian and Minor­ity Eth­nic (BAME) women and chil­dren, gang and knife crime project and tar­geted projects with young peo­ple Not in Edu­ca­tion, Employ­ment, or Train­ing (NEET).

Around 50,000 users ben­e­fit from the var­i­ous BFA projects annu­ally, mak­ing the organ­i­sa­tion one of the largest sports char­i­ties in the coun­try in terms of users.

Sport­ing Ben­gal play in the Essex League