Santosh Trophy 2018: West Bengal's Santosh Trophy preparations hampered as goalposts go missing
The defending champions' training camp gets delayed due to poor facilities at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.
What's the story?
West Bengal's Santosh Trophy preparations have been severely affected by the poor ground conditions at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata.
Interestingly, Bengal, who are one of the perennial favourites to win the competition, have had to cancel one of their training sessions at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, as the goalposts were reportedly taken to the Mohun Bagan ground.
In case you didn't know...
Santosh Trophy is a national football competition contested by the regional state associations and government institutions under the aegis of All India Football Federation (AIFF). The tournament was started in 1941 and this year's edition will be the 78th edition of the prestigious competition.
West Bengal are the current champions of the Santosh Trophy and has won it a record thirty-two times in the history of the competition.
The heart of the matter
The Indian Football Association (IFA), the governing body of football for the state of West Bengal, had scheduled to conduct the training camp for the Santosh Trophy probables at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata.
West Bengal coach Ranjan Chowdhury had scheduled the training for last Friday at the stadium but the lack of facilities and poor ground conditions caused them to postpone their training. The ground did not have the goalposts and the pitch was in a very poor condition with the size of the grass being an issue.
The coach said that the goalposts had been taken by Mohun Bagan for the I-League games and the oversized grass needed to be trimmed in size for proper playing conditions.
According to reports, the goalposts were returned to the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium a day later.
West Bengal will try to defend their Santosh Trophy title as the tournament kicks off with its Zonal qualifiers, which are currently going on. They are set to play the likes of Maharashtra and Daman and Diu in their opening games.
The Santosh Trophy is a very prestigious tournament in Indian football history and the ordeal that the West Bengal had to go through is discouraging. The stadium authorities need to maintain the facilities in proper conditions throughout the year.