As the Football World Cup frenzy reached its feverish pitch in Kolkata last week, the city was cloaked in giant cut-outs of India’s National Club Mohun Bagan AC with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s younger brother, Swapan Bannerjee (alias Babun), prominently featuring on it as the club’s newly-appointed secretary.

Banners were put up along busy thoroughfares with the name and picture of Didi’s brother written on it. But quite sadly, the spelling of the century-old football club was wrongly spelt on the banners. Instead of ‘Jay Mohun Bagan’ it was written ‘Jay Mohun Hagan (obviously, in Bengali)’.

The controversial posters drew flak on the social media with people cracking jokes and condemning the irresponsible gesture, as the heritage football club carries a huge legacy and deeply embedded with the sentiments of Bengal – a place known as the Mecca of Indian football.

Mamata’s brother Babun was appointed as the new football secretary of Mohun Bagan AC in the club’s executive committee meeting in May this year.

Embarrassed Banerjee finally came out with an explanation on the social media Wednesday saying the flex banners were put up across Kolkata by his well-wishers in personal capacities.  

“I am deeply shocked. Some people have twisted a certain portion of the banner and turned it into a vulgar one. I don’t know who all have stooped to such level and done it. I also don’t understand whether they want to malign me or tarnish the image of the century-old football club of Kolkata,” Babun Banerjee said on his Facebook wall.

He vowed to take necessary action against the culprits whoever has done such mean thing. Banerjee also filed an official complaint with the Kalighat police station on the matter.

“I don’t know who all have done it. But they will be caught very soon.  I will not sit idle just by filing a police complaint. I will make sure that the people who are actually behind this are unmasked. I take the oath in the name of Mohun Bagan and to safeguard its lasting legacy,” he wrote.

Established in 1889 by Bhupendra Nath Bose, Mohun Bagan is the oldest existing football club in India and one of the oldest clubs in Asia. In 1911 (July 29), it created history by becoming the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield after defeating East Yorkshire Regiment by 2–1. Most Mohun Bagan players played bare feet while East Yorkshire Regiment played with proper footballing equipment.