Kolkata derby unlikely to happen until March after ATK Mohun Bagan’s move to ISL, says IFA

Mohun Bagan's merger with ATK meant that the Indian Super League is likely to miss out on the fever-pitched Kolkata derby, as their arch-rivals East Bengal are almost certain to remain in the second-rung I-League for the upcoming season.

Press Trust of India August 16, 2020 23:02:22 IST
Kolkata derby unlikely to happen until March after ATK Mohun Bagan’s move to ISL, says IFA

ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal may cross swords the only time in the upcoming season in March next year when the West Bengal football association (IFA) is planning to stage the Calcutta Football League Premier Division.

Mohun Bagan's merger with ATK meant that the Indian Super League is likely to miss out on the fever-pitched Kolkata derby, as their arch-rivals East Bengal are almost certain to remain in the second-rung I-League for the upcoming season.

"We will hold a meeting with the Premier Division clubs tentatively on Wednesday to chalk out the details. We are looking at the window from February last week to March," IFA general secretary Joydeep Mukherjee told PTI on the sidelines of Football Lovers' Day.

This day is considered as one of the most tragic days in Indian football history as 16 fans died in crowd violence during the Kolkata derby match of the CFL in 1980.

In memory of the incident, IFA observes 16 August as Football Lovers' Day with blood donation camps across the state.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, IFA still managed to carry out the mammoth exercise across the districts with a total donor of 896.

"Looking at the situation, it's really commendable that so many people turned up on this day. We took all the sanitisation measures and it was conducted maintaining proper social distancing," Mukherjee said.

Netaji Indoor Stadium hosted the camp here with 228 donors.

Captains of the 1980 teams — Crompton Dutta (Mohun Bagan) and Satyajit Mitra (East Bengal) — were also present.

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