Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bayern Munich Football club scores in cricket crazy India

Bayern Munich, the reigning German soccer champion and four-time European Cup winner, faced more than an Indian club when it played in Kolkata today. It was trying to overcome a cricket culture and England's Premier League.

Bayern won the game 3-0 with Jan Schlaudraff scoring twice and Zé Roberto grabbing the other. A defensive blunder allowed Schlaudraff to score the opener after 18 minutes, before Zé Roberto curled in a free kick on 37 minutes after Mohun keeper Sangram Mukherjee had handled outside the area.
Bayern’s third goal arrived six minutes into the second half when Jan Schlaudraff fired home from close range following good work from Christian Lell.

Bayern, which beat Mohun Bagan 3-0 in front of 120,000 fans, is seeking to convert consumers in India -- the world's second most-populous nation with 1.1 billion people -- to soccer from cricket and overcome a bias to English teams among those who already follow the sport.

Indians have traditionally favored cricket, the game brought there by the British when it was the colonial power. Broadcast rights to a new six-week cricket tournament, featuring some of the world's top players and promoted by Bollywood movie stars, were sold to India's Sony Television Network and the Singapore-based World Sports Group for $1 billion, according to the Australian newspaper.