I-League 2017: East Bengal allowed to print only 20,000 tickets for Aizawl FC game at Salt Lake Stadium
Despite a huge demand for tickets, East Bengal could only print 20,000 of them, ahead of their clash against Aizawl FC
What's the Story
There was chaos on the eve of East Bengal FC's match against Aizawl FC as clearance for the Salt Lake Stadium arrived late. This was due to the fact that special permission was needed from government, which does not allow two matches to take place at the venue within 48 hours.
Now, it has come to light that the Kolkata giants have been allowed to print only 20,000 tickets for their home game against defending I-League champions Aizawl FC.
In Case You Didn't Know
The Salt Lake Stadium has been a hotbed of controversy, with three teams (East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, and ATK) hosting their games at the iconic venue in the I-League and the ISL, respectively.
East Bengal had also announced during the preseason, that they will give a number of their tickets away to school children, in order to attract more interest.
The Heart of the Matter
However, as the matches are set to be held in quick succession, East Bengal could only print out 20,000 tickets for Tuesday's game against Aizawl FC, according to sources. It was rather gutting as the demand was said to have gone through the roof.
With the Salt Lake Stadium being shared by three teams, namely East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and ATK, there will be times where the stadium will be used more often than the government generally permits. It could be even more problematic with regards to the conditions surrounding the pitch. The grounds personnel will have their work cut out for them maintaining the stadium with matches being held at such short intervals.
It would be interesting to how the ground staff copes up with the added work on the pitch, with three teams hosting their games at the arena, especially since government regulations do not allow the games to be held within 48 hours of each other. Now, with both the ISL and I-League seasons having gotten underway in full swing, it could be an uphill task for the groundsmen.
A possible solution to this dilemma could be to look for alternate venues to host matches. The Barasat Stadium and Rabindra Sarobar Stadium are two such stadiums being considered as alternatives to the Salt Lake Stadium.