What's the story?
Keeping in mind Sony Norde's memorable performances, Mohun Bagan fans have decided to pay a glorious tribute to the Haitian, who is going to be released by the club. The fans will be wearing masks of Norde during Sunday's Kolkata Derby to be played between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
In case you didn't know...
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Mohun Bagan fans are showing such a gesture. Last year 10,000 fans wore masks of Sanjoy Sen in order to protest against All India Football Federation (AIFF). Sen, the then head coach of Mohun Bagan was given a touchline ban for eight matches by the AIFF after he made derogatory comments against the federation.
The heart of the matter
The fans want to pay a similar tribute to the talismanic Norde who scored 29 goals in 65 appearances for the Mariners. Norde who is also the skipper of Mohun Bagan got badly injured in a game against Churchill Brothers this season and he needs at least 6-8 weeks to recover.
It was earlier speculated that the injury isn't that severe, however, a surgery of the right meniscus seems inevitable now which means he won't be available for the rest of the season. This has forced Mohun Bagan to release the player who will be travelling to Argentina for further treatment.
Reportedly 15,000 fans will be wearing Norde masks which have cost them an estimated amount of Rs 35000.
The Indian football giants are trying to rope in Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra as Norde's replacement.
This initiative taken by Mohun Bagan fans doesn't come as a surprise simply because of the fact that the winger has been a revelation for the Mariners. He played a vital role in helping them win the 2014/15 I-League title.