The most famous and prestigious derby in Indian football involving East Bengal and Mohun Bagan is facing financial troubles due to stadium costs and could be shifted outside the state.
According to a report in The Telegraph, I-League club East Bengal is considering hosting the return-leg match against Mohun Bagan outside West Bengal due to high stadium costs of Salt Lake Stadium.
"Our first choice to host the derby, which is scheduled to be played on 15 March next year, is the Salt Lake Stadium. But the corporate entity which runs the football team doesn’t want to pay the high rent of the stadium. In that case, if we don’t get that stadium at a lower rate, then we may have to organise the derby in another state. We are keeping all our options open,” said Debabrata Sarkar, who is one of the directors of Quess East Bengal.
Sarkar also told the newspaper that the club will appeal to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and sports minister Aroop Biswas to intervene and help them find a solution.
Apart from the rent, which according to Biswas is Rs 15,000 because of special concession to East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the clubs have to spend round Rs 10 lakh to organise a match at the Salt Lake Stadium. Responding on the issue, state's sport minister Biswas said to the newspaper, "You are talking about the floodlight charge and the cost of other arrangements. If they write to us, we may consider their request."
Both I-League clubs had decided to play their other home matches this season at the Kalyani Stadium, which is around 54km away from the city.
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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2019 11:33:45 IST