CFL 2017: East Bengal fans resort to hooliganism ahead of Kolkata derby, Mohun Bagan lodge police complaint
In what was an unpleasant development in Indian football earlier today, a section of the East Bengal fans celebrated their club's 5-0 Calcutta Football League victory over Tollygunge Agragami a bit too aggressively, leading to repercussions.
After Willis Plaza's hat-trick sealed a thumping win for East Bengal to hand them the initiative in the CFL 2017, a group of fans keen to make their result heard to their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan hurled stones at Bagan's club tent and caused an uncalled-for fracas.
The East Bengal faithful's shameful actions were also recorded on camera, as shown in the tweet below, and have now upped the stakes for this Sunday's colossal Kolkata derby.
Mohun Bagan officials, however, were quick to react to the act of hooliganism and have lodged a complaint to the Maidan Police Station. The Mariners' ground secretary Swapan Banerjee signed the complaint after club senior official Debashish Dutta promised to take stern action against the disturbing elements in what is a big week in Kolkata football with Durga Puja festivities around the corner.
The images of Bagan's police complaint have even emerged on social media. The complaints were registered for the East Bengal fans attacking Mohun Bagan's club tent and hurting a few of their members and fans by hurling stones, breaking Mohun Bagan's signboard, destroying club legend Sailen Manna's signboard and making obscene gestures at the club's female fans.
East Bengal's win over Tollygunge took them above Mohun Bagan in the CFL 2017 standings with only one match to go. The Red and Golds are level on points with their fierce rivals but ahead on goal difference, and Sunday's derby at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri is a straight shootout for the title.
Khalid Jamil's charges have the chance to win East Bengal their eighth consecutive CFL title and Mohun Bagan are mighty close to breaking that streak this season. Anything but a win for the Mariners will see them lose the title, and East Bengal fans were keen to point out the fact that their club are the favourites ahead of the title decider.
However, East Bengal have distanced themselves from the vandalising fan's group and condemned the actions of a small minority of their big fanbase. Club official Debabrata Sarkar was quoted as saying to Goal India: "We condemn such an act by a section of our fans. We do not endorse such terrible acts and we sincerely hope the administration will take proper action against the miscreants," suggesting that violence of any kind ahead of the big day is an unwelcome prospect for both clubs.
It remains to be seen what transpires after today's events, as the buildup to the derby gets more and more explosive.