The league’s highlight clash the Kolkata Derby will take place on 9 September.
The fixtures for the Calcutta League 2018-19 season were officially announced during the CFL trophy unveiling at the Calcutta Sports Journalist Club on Wednesday. The tournament will officially kick-off on Friday, 3 August, with defending champions East Bengal taking on Tollygunge Agragami at the East Bengal Ground.
A total of 12 teams will participate in the league this year which is an increase from the 10 which who fought it out last season. Aryan Club, F.C.I, George Telegraph SC and West Bengal Police SC will be the new teams after they won promotion from the Calcutta Football League “B” Division. It was also announced that the matches would take place at the timings of 4:30 PM and 2:35 PM IST, with the fixtures till 19th August being officially unveiled as of yet.
But, the main match, which is the Kolkata Derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will take place on the 2nd of September. It was also revealed that the “mini-derbies,” which include Mohammedan Sporting taking on East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, will take place on 9th and 16th September respectively. These derbies are also expected to take place at the Salt Lake Stadium, while the other matches swill take place at the clubs’ respective home grounds. The prize money for the winners will be ₹25 lakhs, while the runners-up will also get a handsome sum of ₹20 lakhs.
The CFL will also see new broadcasters, with Sadhana News being the channel to telecast the matches. It was revealed that a minimum of 36 matches will be broadcast on the channel, with the matches of the “big clubs” being shown on their TV channel. Sadhana News will also be available to watch on JIO TV, while fans can also watch live streaming on Youtube to catch up with the matches. It was also conveyed that Sadhana News is a free-to-air channel, meaning that nobody needs to pay to watch it.
Ritabrata Bhattacharya, the Editor-in-Chief of Sadhana News said: “We are thankful to Utpal Ganguli for giving us the opportunity to telecast this historic league. We’ll try our best to repay the trust put in us. Sadhana News wants to put the focus on sports. We thought that telecasting a special tournament like the CFL would further improve the popularity of football, which already holds a special place in every Bengali’s heart.”
One more revelation was that digital media will get the accreditation they need to cover the matches from the stadiums. Khel Now had reported yesterday about how the India Football Association had banned websites and digital media from covering the league. But, when Ganguli was asked about it, he stated that everyone will get their respective accreditation.
It seems like the protest from Khel Now and other media outlets along with the constant support of our fans has got the IFA to do a U-turn on their initial stance of barring digital media and made them realize just how powerful this new-age media really is. We are delighted to state that Khel Now will now cover the latest season of the Calcutta Football League and will aim to bring the absolute best content to our fans.