Uncertainty hangs over holding the season’s first Kolkata derby as city giants Mohun Bagan have set the West Bengal’s football governing body Indian Football Association (IFA) an array of conditions ahead of the marquee tie of the Calcutta Football League (CFL).
The match is slated to take place at the Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday.
Following a series of letters exchanged between Bagan and IFA regarding the venue Kalyani Stadium, the club is learnt to be irked by the state’s football governing body not meeting some of the pre-conditions.
In a letter to IFA on Monday, Bagan said none of their two demands — at least two days of practice at the venue before the match and a total of over 6,000 tickets for their members — were met despite prior intimation.
IFA had initially promised 4,000 tickets to both clubs. But after the state Public Works Department did not give the ano objection certificate’ to a temporary stand constructed at the stadium. The total number of tickets have come down to 7,500, and each club can be given a maximum of 2,000 each.
With just one day remaining before the tie, 48 hours of practice is not possible, but Bagan said it won’t be possible for them to participate if the ticket demand is not met.
"Our club will be under tremendous pressure if we are unable to keep our word as promised regarding the issuance of ticket to the bonafide members. We request you to kindly solve our problems and help us to play the match or else it will be impossible to participate in the ensuing derby match," read the letter.
This was in reply to the governing body’s letter that it was for Bagan that the match was pencilled in at the Kalyani Stadium at the first place.
"As you are well aware as the second option, we wanted the match to be played in Kanchengunga Stadium but considering your objection to play the match over there, we decided to consider an alternative venue," the letter continued.
"We also considered organising this match on your ground in the maidan but even after Kingfisher East Bengal Club accepted to play the match in the said venue, the police authorities did not approve the venue because of security reasons."
"In such circumstances, as an alternative and after discussing with both the clubs, we decided to organise the match in Kalyani Stadium."