East Bengal nears CFL history after Bagan pulls out

With Mohun Bagan not turning up for 30 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time at 3 pm, the match officials called off the match and will in all likelihood award all the points to East Bengal.

East Bengal Mohun Bagan walkover Calcutta Football league Derby

East Bengal, which did not raise any objection about the derby against Mohun Bagan, arrived for the kick-off on time and waited on the ground for the opposition to arrive.   -  K. Muralikumar

Defending champion East Bengal is likely to earn the record seventh consecutive Calcutta Football League (CFL) premier division crown as its traditional rival Mohun Bagan stuck to its decision of staying away from Indian football season’s first local ‘Derby’ on Wednesday.

READ: >Bagan creates impasse over Kolkata Derby

Mohun Bagan placed a string of conditions before the governing body of football in the state — Indian Football Association (IFA) — and charged the latter of creating organisational disorder while scheduling the match more than 50 kilometres away in the suburban venue of Kalyani. This happened as the regular venue Salt Lake Stadium was closed for renovation ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup next year.

Mohun Bagan, which had some days ago prevailed on the IFA in securing a replay of a match that was abandoned because of its fans invading the ground, failed to gain enough support from the state body this time. The IFA did not heed Mohun Bagan’s request for postponement of the match and stuck to the previously announced schedule.

East Bengal, which did not raise any objection about the match, arrived for the kick-off on time and waited on the ground for the opposition to arrive. With Mohun Bagan not turning up for 30 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time at 3 pm, the match officials called off the match. Match commissioner Bikash Mukherjee said that he will send his report to IFA which will decide the fate of the match. The IFA’s CFL sub-committee will decide on the fate of the match according to the provisions in the tournament rule book, which gives full points to the team present in the situation of a walk-over.

East Bengal in all likelihood will be getting the full quota of points, which will take it to the doorstep of retaining the title for a record seventh time in the 118-year-old tournament. East Bengal, which is currently on 21 points from seven consecutive wins, will need just one more point to ensure the crown once it is awarded the quota of three points from the ‘Derby’ that fell through on Wednesday. East Bengal also holds the record of winning the CFL title for the highest 37 times so far.

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