Kolkata: In a big blow for Bengal football, the blockbuster Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the Calcutta Football League was canceled after the Mariners failed to turn up for the match.
Bagan opted for this decision after the organizers refused to shift the date of this high-profile match. The Indian Football Association (IFA) on Tuesday said they’re not budging to Mohun Bagan’s demands of postponing the match, while the Mariners said they’re not turning up at the Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday, unless it’s deferred.
Should there be a walkover, East Bengal would be declared champions Calcutta Football League Premier Division champions for a record seventh successive time, an instance that had last happened in 1985 when Mohun Bagan did not turn up.
The prestigious match was slated to be held at the Kalyani Stadium in the outskirts with renovation process going on in city’s only venue Vivekanada Yuva Bharati Krirangan ahead of the next year’s U-17 World Cup.
However, the match was mired in controversy after a makeshift structure to enhance the capacity to 16,000 did not meet safety requirements and Mohun Bagan cited a shortfall in the tickets made available to their 6234 club members.
The Bengal governing body, Indian Football Association, however, said it was not an embarrassment.