Club football in India was very popular in the early 1980s. It was during this juncture that two men from Iran took Indian football to new heights ─ Jamshid Nassiri and Majid Bishkar.

Jamshid was born in Khorramshahr, an Iranian port city in the Khuzestan province. He had represented Iran in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1977 but left the country due to the Islamic Revolution. Just like his compatriot, Jamshid hadn’t arrived in India to pursue a football career. Instead, they had come to India to pursue higher education. However, their destiny took them to the banks of river Ganges in Kolkata.

In 1980, Jamshid Nassiri was snapped up by East Bengal F.C. Along with his striking partner, Majid Bishkar, they formed one of the greatest attacking duos in Indian club football. They dismantled opposition defences, first for East Bengal and later for Mohammedan Sporting. The duo gained cult status in India for their sheer brilliance on the football pitch.

Jamshid Nassiri now lives in Kolkata and provides coaching to young children. Under his guidance, the Veterans Club is currently participating at Nawab Ali Park in the Kolkata edition of the Hero ISL Children’s League. His love for the beautiful game took him to Singur in Hooghly to witness the budding footballers participating in the Hero ISL Children’s League. caught up with Jamshid Nassiri on the sidelines as he spoke about the Hero ISL Children’s League initiative. Nassiri remarked, “When I came to know about this tournament, I was fascinated. The development of football from grassroots especially at a young age can prove to be very productive. The corporates, federation, associations and especially parents play an integral part to ensure that Indian football is back on track, to what it used to be during the 1970s. Hence, I feel that the Hero ISL Children’s League is a wonderful initiative.”

The Hero ISL Children’s League is a platform to produce the next-generation of stars of Indian football through increased participation among children in a structured football ecosystem. The words of encouragement from one of the stalwarts of Indian club football from yesteryears will enrich the Hero ISL Children’s League, as it aims to revolutionise the sport and make India one of Asia’s leading footballing nations.