East Bengal, Mohun Bagan to play AFC Cup home matches in Mumbai?

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Kolkata, Sep 26: In an unprecedented decision, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have decided to play their AFC Cup home matches for the upcoming season at the Cooperage Stadium, Mumbai.

The Kolkata sides, who used to play their home games at the Salt Lake stadium will not be able to avail the services of the stadium due to renovation for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup.

East Bengal (red & gold) and Mohun Bagan (green & maroon)

But the question which arises is that why these two clubs have preferred to leave Bengal and decided to take such a decision to stage their home matches in AFC Cup in Mumbai?

The clubs' officially have already hinted that Cooperage Stadium will be the venue for the home matches in AFC Cup. The reason which is being cited is because the club's have to show a proper stadium for AFC club licensing. 

Secretary of East Bengal Club, Kalyan Majumder said: “This reflects the poor state of football infrastructure in this state only.

"The reason behind such decision is that Salt lake Stadium will not be available for any other tournaments till the under-17 World Cup gets ended next year.

"And apart from Salt Lake Stadium there is no other stadium in this state where important matches in the I League can take place.”

It has been learnt that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials are also trying to cooperate with both the Kolkata clubs in this issue.

According to sources, AIFF officials, before trying to help both these clubs, had apparently asked their representatives whether they would be willing to take part in their respective matches if those are staged in either Kalyani Stadium or at Barasat Stadium.

But it has been learnt that the clubs are reluctant to play it’s I league matches at these venues due to distance and lack of proper facilities at the stadiums.

Both AIFF and IFA are still trying to convince the clubs so that they change their decision and agree to play in either on of the available stadiums in Bengal

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