Kolkata Derby loses to WC, Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal ISL clash to be rescheduled
With World Cup, Durga Puja and special security for Pakistan Cricket Team, Kolkata Police likely to deny security for Kolkata Derby on Oct 28.
What happens in India when Cricket clashes with Football? Obviously, football suffers. And when it comes to ICC World Cup 2023 vs Indian Super League, Indian football undoubtedly takes a backseat. A similar event is set to unfold. October 28 is the ‘Big Day’ in Indian football as it’s Kolkata derby day. But Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal is likely to be rescheduled as Kolkata Police won’t be able to provide adequate security with both events clashing. Netherlands vs Bangladesh takes place at the Eden Gardens on Oct 28 as well. To make things worse, Pakistan Cricket Team will also arrive in Kolkata on the same day.
The problem is three-fold for Kolkata Police. Although Durga Puja will come to an end on October 25, some big pandals will only continue to immerse the idols through that week. That will force Kolkata police to provide additional security.
As per BCCI, there will be no more changes to the ICC World Cup schedule. And so far, BCCI has not received any request for a closed-door game.
“So far, we have not been informed about any issues with security. The match will go on as per schedule and all tickets will be honoured. There will be no change in schedule or the match won’t take place with empty stands,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.
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Salt Lake Stadium to remain closed in October
As per information available with InsideSport, Salt Lake Stadium will be closed for most of October as per West Bengal sports ministry’s directive. Hence, either Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal will be shifted out of Kolkata or take place in an empty stadium.
As per Kolkata police insiders, the Kolkata derby needs around 1000-1200 police personnel while the ICC World Cup game will need around 800 for low-profile matches like Netherlands vs Bangladesh. However, as tickets are sold out, a packed stadium is expected in the World Cup clash. It must be noted that Kolkata Police’s refusal to provide security has already forced a change in the WC schedule.
With the Pakistan Cricket team also arriving in the city on Oct 28, it is a nightmare situation for Kolkata Police.
“We have not received any info regarding a change in venue or change in schedule. As per our roster, World Cup match will get full security around 1000 or so. For the derby, not sure yet as it is not in our roster. We will know more next week or so as there is also Durga puja this month,” a Kolkata Police officer told InsideSport on condition of anonymity.
Kolkata Derby to be rescheduled?
Will the derby date be rescheduled or the Kolkata Derby will be held at a different venue? These are the two questions. Another option is to host the game inside an empty stadium. However, that is unlikely to happen as it is a prized asset of the Indian Super League. The Kolkata Derby moving to a different city also looks like a far-fetched idea at the moment.
Therefore, the derby will be rescheduled to a different date, most probably in the month of November.
Kolkata’s Eden Garden is slated to host 5 World Cup matches, including one India match and one of the semi-finals. Kolkata is also the home for two of the biggest football clubs in the country, i.e. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The next challenge is the time for the biggest festival of the Bengalis – Durga Puja.
It is always a big hassle for Kolkata Police to provide security for a single game but with 3 different occasions, scheduled in the same time frame, it will be a nightmare. Add Z-category security for the Pakistan Cricket Team to the mix and it’s a nightmare.