The East Bengal hand in Eastern Railway’s win

East Bengal’s ‘absence’ had determined Eastern Railway’s out-of-the-blue title triumph 60 years ago. This season, too, its decision to stay away from its final league fixture on Thursday will eventually provide Peerless SC its maiden crown.

Peerless SC will clinch its maiden CFL crown, thanks to a bit of help from East Bengal. Representative Image: Getty Images

The scenario that has helped guarantee Peerless SC its maiden crown of the Calcutta Football League’s top tier — Premier Division ‘A’ — is similar to the one that gave Eastern Railway its maiden CFL title 60 years ago. This was the last time a team outside the famous-three — Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting — had won the title.

“In 1958 when Eastern Railway won its only CFL title, it had a fair contribution from East Bengal. Playing the return-leg match against Eastern Railway, East Bengal was leading by a goal. With the match barely 30 minutes old incessant rains forced its abandonment. East Bengal, which was virtually out of the title race, ‘forfeited’ the match by staying away from the replay of the match decided by IFA. This gave Eastern Railway the full quota of points and helped it overtake Mohun Bagan for [the] only Calcutta League title triumph,” says a football researcher from the city, Kushal Chakraborty.

Read | Peerless wins Calcutta Football Club title

Even though Peerless SC was not involved in the replay featuring East Bengal, the latter’s decision to stay away from the match against Calcutta Customs on Thursday — its final league fixture — will eventually help in determining Peerless’ historic triumph.

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