The forthcoming I-League match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in Kolkata has been indefinitely postponed, the organisers informed on Wednesday after they failed to procure the required security clearances from the state police for an expected full house.
The clash was scheduled to be held on December 22 and according to a report in PTI, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) did not specify the exact reason why security assurances couldn’t come through, sources in the apex body said “it was related to the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.”
In a letter, the police conveyed its inability to provide security for what will be a packed crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium.
“With reference to the much-awaited Hero I-League match between Mohun Bagan AC and Quess East Bengal originally scheduled to be held at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Sunday, December 22, 2019, a formal letter from the office of the Dy. Commissioner of Police, Bidhannagar to Mohun Bagan has cited that ‘ ‘organising a full-scale match on 22.12.2019 shall be quite challenging for all the stakeholders’,” the AIFF said in a statement.
The AIFF, in its letter, also “requested” the home team (Mohun Bagan) “to restrict the total number of saleable tickets”.
In a following letter, Mohun Bagan director Debashis Dutta also requested the organisers to reschedule the match, saying that such a restriction (from police) would take away the “opportunity of thousands of football lovers to cheer for their favourite team from the stands”.
“Taking note of both the letters, the match has been postponed. The new dates will be communicated soon,” the AIFF said.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh has triggered widespread protests across the country including Assam and West Bengal.
In Assam, due to the CAA Protests, an Indian Super League game had to be rescheduled, while a Ranji Trophy match in Guwahati last week had to be cancelled.