Table toppers Mohun Bagan after suffering their first defeat of the season will travel to Siliguri to take on local rivals East Bengal in the 18th Kolkata Derby of the Hero I-League on Saturday, April 02, 2016. Siliguri’s Kanchenjunga Stadium has hosted a lot of important matches / tournaments in the past including India’s international friendlies, Nehru Gold Cup, Federation Cup and Nehru Cup to name a few but this will be the first time the stadium will host an Hero I-League fixture.
Mr. Arup Ratan Ghosh, General Secretary of the Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad believes that the Kanchenjunga Stadium is ready to host the high octane Hero I-League clash between the two Kolkata giants. “I believe the experience of handling big games in the past will help us. This is the first time we are hosting a Hero I-League game and we are confident of putting up a good show. We are glad to be presented with an opportunity to host the Kolkata Derby which is probably the biggest fixture in Indian football and I would like reiterate that the preparations are right on track for the massive game on April 02.”
The Kolkata Derby is by far one of the most attended and followed game in the Indian club football and unlike the Salt Lake Stadium the stadium capacity of the Kanchenjunga Stadium is just 25,000. But Mr. Ghosh is not breaking sweat over it and is convinced that the stadium will be packed to the capacity and yet the management will be smooth. “We have received a thunderous response from fans across West Bengal and not only from Siliguri, our stadium can accommodate around 25, 000 people during a game and we are expecting a full house. We would like to thank AIFF and Hero I-League for presenting us with the opportunity to host such a big game. We have taken special attention to ensure full security at the game and the fans can be rest assured of a memorable in-stadia experience,” Added Mr. Ghosh.
The first installment of the Kolkata Derby this season had ended in a stalemate with Bagan’s Cornell Glen cancelling out league top scorer Ranti Martins’ second half strike for East Bengal. The match will be important for both the clubs as hosts East Bengal would look to reduce the 5 point deficit between them and the defending champions Mohun Bagan, who would like to bounce back from their shock defeat against Hero I-League new comers Aizawl FC.
“The Kolkata Derby couldn’t have found a better alternative than the Kanchenjunga Stadium where we have seen many a memorable football match in the past. I, on the behalf of Hero I-League, would like to take the opportunity to wish the organisers all the best ahead of the biggest battle of Indian Football and welcome the football-loving crowd from North Bengal to enjoy a captivating football match between the arch rivals Kingfisher East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on 2nd April,” Concluded Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO – Hero I-League.