The fixture was put in doubt as it does not comply with the state government’s prescribed 48-hour gap between two games.
After a lot of drama and dilemma, the West Bengal gvernment has finally given the green signal to the East Bengal officials to host their opening game of the I-League 2017-18 season against Aizawl FC on the 28th of November from 8 pm at the Salt Lake Stadium as scheduled.
As per the rules set by the state government, the actual owner of the 66,887-seater facilty; it can host matches only at three-day intervals. With ATK playing FC Pune City in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the same venue on Sunday evening, the following I-League fixture on Tuesday was in violation of the norms.
Two days earlier it was rumoured that the Red and Gold may be forced to concede a walkover in their opening I-League tie due to the possible unavailability of the venue, following the ISL fixture a couple of days earlier.
But a series of talks between officials of the club, state government and the All India Football Federation at last resulted in the nod being given for the game to proceed as scheduled.
Spaeaking exclusive to Khel Now a top EB official said, “You know how important this I-League campaign is for us and if we had to give a walkover in the opening game only due to the unavailability of the ground it would be have been a shame for us. I am happy for the fans that the match is happening at last as per schedule and the other three matches will be played somewhere else as decided by the state government.”
As of now, the waiver has only been granted for EB’s opening game, but for the other four matches (one East Bengal and three Mohun Bagan) in the next rounds the venue will be changed to either the Rabindra Sarobar Satdium or Barasat Stadium while the dates and time will remain the same.