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East Bengal forced to revise ‘Kolkata derby’ ticket price after Mohun Bagan’s boycott threat

Bowing down to pressure and boycott threat from Mohun Bagan fans, arch-rivals East Bengal on Friday announced that any “discrepancies in ticket pricing” for the high-profile return leg Kolata Derby on Sunday will be “corrected”.

File photo of Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal(PTI)

The announcement came a day after Mohun Bagan general secretary Debasish Dutta called for an “official boycott” from the fans, citing disparity in ticket pricing.

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However, after discussions with the state sports minister Aroop Biswas and recognising the sentiments of the football community, East Bengal management did a course correction only 48 hours prior to the game.

“Any discrepancies in ticket pricing for the derby match (on Sunday) will be corrected with immediate effect,” East Bengal director Sandeep Agarwal, who represents principal owners Emami, said in a statement.

He further promised that there would be a uniform cost for all spectators for the much-anticipated derby in future.

“Going forward, uniform pricing will be implemented for all attendees of this highly anticipated event,” he added.

As per the tickets listed on vendor portal, BookMyShow, the prices earlier ranged from 100 to 1000 for East Bengal stands, while in the case of their rivals Mohun Bagan it varied from 250 to 3000.

The two arch-rivals, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, have opposite stands at the 68,000-capacity Salt Lake Stadium for seamless organisation of a derby fixture, and the home team retains the prerogative to determine the ticket price.

East Bengal are the home team for the return leg fixture and the ticket-pricing was determined by principal owners Emami Limited.

Citing that such “practices are commonplace worldwide”, Emami East Bengal further pointed to Mohun Bagan’s similar strategy on February 3, 2024, where “discounts” were offered to their “devoted fans”.

“In line with promoting transparency, we also introduced a discount structure on our ticket prices,” Agarwal added.

“Regrettably, this initiative inadvertently caused confusion among football enthusiasts. In light of this, and in consideration of the sentiments of our dedicated football community, as well as following constructive discussions with the Honourable Sports Minister, we have taken the decision as indicated hereafter.”

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