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SILIGURI PREPARES FOR BIG BATTLE

" Sabuj-maroon ache ultodike. Khelata jombe (We have green and maroon on the other side. The match will be thrilling)," said Jalpaiguri resident Mausam Ghosh, flaunting a ticket of the I-League derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on Sunday.

By TT Bureau

  • Published 9.04.17

" Sabuj-maroon ache ultodike. Khelata jombe (We have green and maroon on the other side. The match will be thrilling)," said Jalpaiguri resident Mausam Ghosh, flaunting a ticket of the I-League derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on Sunday.

Hundreds of supporters of both teams have started arriving in Siliguri from Calcutta and other parts of Bengal for the match, the third I-League bout between the arch rivals at the stadium in the past two years.

Sporting jerseys of the clubs, the fans were on Saturday busy collecting tickets and discussing key players.

"So far, we have sold 14,000 tickets. The stadium's capacity is 27,000. We hope the remaining tickets will be sold by tomorrow and the galleries will be full," said Arup Ratan Ghosh, the secretary of the Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad.

Both the teams reached Siliguri on Friday. On Saturday, they practised at the stadium. (Picture shows East Bengal players practising.)

"The turnout of supporters from outside appears to be slightly less this time because of the match timing. It will start at 7pm. Usually, supporters from outside Siliguri take night trains and buses after a match. But by the time Sunday's match will end, most buses and Calcutta-bound trains will have left," said Suresh Dutta, a die-hard Mohun Bagan fan from Dum Dum.

The Siliguri sports association has requested the North Bengal State Transport Corporation to push back the timings of the buses leaving for Calcutta.

"We have Willis Plaza and Wedson Anselme while they have Sony Norde. The trio have played in pre-World Cup qualifiers. East Bengal has always enjoyed more support than Mohun Bagan in Siliguri," said banker Pradip Roy, an East Bengal fan.

Report by Avijit Sinha, picture by Passang Yolmo

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