Kolkata football giants Mohun Bagan on Tuesday performed the traditional “Bar Pujo” without the club officials, members or the fans due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown which has been extended till May 3.
The football clubs at the Kolkata maidan celebrates “Bar Pujo” by worshipping the goalposts on either end on the first day of the Bengali new year which earlier used to mark the beginning of the new football season.
“The traditional Bar Puja and the worship of the idol of Ma Kali in the dressing room on the occasion of Bengali New Year was performed today in club premises abiding with social distancing norms as given by State Government.
“Bablu Halder, the renowned priest from Kalighat Mandir who performs the rituals every year followed the same rituals this year too. However, no club officials, members or fans were present in the club during the function,” said a statement from the club.
However, on Sunday, Mohun Bagan had stated that they were forced not to celebrate the customary occasion this year owing to the coronavirus pandemic which has already affected over ten thousand people in India and killed more than 300.
“It’s very unfortunate that we need to call off the customary ritual that we follow on Bengali New Year’s Day every year. But in present condition safety of our fans, colleagues is our topmost priority and keeping that in mind, we had to take this hard decision. We sincerely hope that tough time will be over,” the club’s General Secretary Srinjoy Bose said in a statement as quoted by IANS.
Mohun Bagan have already emerged as the champions of the I-League with four rounds to go. The League, however, is yet to be completed and the matches are put on hold owing to the outbreak.
(With IANS inputs)