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ISL 2024: Kolkata Derby To Be Cancelled? Mohun Bagan Call For Boycott After East Bengal Set High Ticket Prices

Livid with disparity in ticket pricing, Mohun Bagan general secretary Debashis Dutta on Thursday called on his club’s fans to boycott the return leg Indian Super League derby against East Bengal on Sunday. There has been a clear disparity in ticket pricing for the upcoming ISL return leg derby with some Mohun Bagan stands costing more than double the price of East Bengal who are the hosts of the match.

The prices range from Rs 100 to Rs 1000 for East Bengal stands, while in case of Mohun Bagan it varies from Rs 250 to Rs 3000.

“It is unprecedented anywhere in the world that away team fans will have to buy match tickets at a price which is almost double than that of the home team fans… This is shameful,” Dutta said in a statement.

Mohun Bagan said it will not buy or sell tickets for the match. (Vinicius Junior Reacts To Cristiano Ronaldo’s Post For Real Madrid)

“We unequivocally condemn the unsportsmanlike behaviour of East Bengal and have decided that we will neither buy nor sell any tickets of the derby match of ISL between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal Club.

“This communication may be treated as an official boycott call of the upcoming derby from our side,” he added.

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 prices.

East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar has termed the situation ‘sad’ and said in future they would ensure it does not happen.

“The ticket pricings are done by Emami (principal owners)… It is a sad situation and hope that it’s not happened in future. I’ve spoken to the sports minister but as of now nothing can be done,” Sarkar said.

There has been no response from East Bengal principal owners Emami Limited. The match was earlier scheduled at 7.30 pm but now has been rescheduled to 8.30pm because of the Trinamool Congress Brigade Rally in the day.

FC Goa Secure First Win In Five Games

FC Goa secured their first win after going winless in their previous five games as they edged past East Bengal FC by 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Wednesday.

The Gaurs have thus moved to 32 points (won nine matches, drawn five and lost three) with this win, within touching distance of the top-placed Odisha FC (35), having played a game fewer (17) than the Juggernauts (18. Contrastingly, the Red and Gold Brigade are three points behind (18 points, won four, drawn six and lost eight matches) the sixth-placed Bengaluru FC (21), with both sides having playing an equal number of games (18).

Talismanic striker Noah Sadaoui picked up form just at the right time to help his team win for the first time since the resumption of the league after the mid-season break. The Manolo Marquez-coached side cracked through the East Bengal FC defence in some style, and they were arguably more dominant in the proceedings than what the scoreline suggests. Beating the visitors in possession (57.2 per cent), and as well as in terms of shots (17 vs 4) and shots on target (7 vs 1), the home team constantly teased the opposition with their skilful frontline, as per an ISL press release.

Noah broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, but he and Carlos Martinez created plenty of chances before that, which played a part in keeping the East Bengal FC goalkeeper Prabsukhan Singh Gill on his toes. The Gaurs were spot on in their tactics from the offset tonight, ensuring that they carved open the East Bengal FC defence with their through balls. Martinez did so in the 14th minute, but Noah’s shot in a 1v1 situation against Gill was saved off the leg by the custodian.

Similarly, Noah returned the favour by teaming up with Martinez, but the Spaniard took a wayward shot far off the target. The pressure was on for East Bengal FC though, and their backline arguably lost the plot by pushing too far ahead, too soon. Mohammed Yasir helped Noah secure the winner.

The attacking midfielder has been in promising form, as displayed by his consecutive strikes in the last two matches. Tonight, he found a way past the East Bengal FC backline that struggled for coordination, setting the assist for Noah, who hammered the ball into the net from a narrow position on the inside channel of the left flank.

The gifted East Bengal FC frontline found no answers against a disciplined FC Goa defence in either halves, further complicating their chances of qualifying to the playoffs this season.

*Key Performer of the Match

Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)

Noah Sadaoui completed 32 out of his 34 attempted passes, tackling twice, intercepting once, creating two goal-scoring opportunities, earning three fouls and netting the all-important winner.

FC Goa will play their next game when they face Punjab FC on March 11, whereas East Bengal FC returns to action for the Kolkata Derby on March 10. Brief Scores: FC Goa 1 (Noah Sadaoui 42′) – 0 East Bengal FC.

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