I-League 2017: Mohun Bagan back to Maidan? Final decision pending

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The century old club is craving for a chance to play at their 54-year old base...

The much talked about Kolkata Maidan may get the taste of top-tier football for the first time in ages if Mohun Bagan are granted permission to hold their home match against Indian Arrows at the home ground on December 29.

The Mariners, who had to shift base to Barasat due to ATK's Indian Super League matches, had approached the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to revert back to their base.  

The most glaring absence was that of an away dressing room but a temporary arrangement is already underway at the Calcutta Football Club (CFC) tent, which is below a portion of the ground's gallery. 

The AIFF officials along with representation from broadcasters STAR are expected to take a final call on Tuesday after taking note of the current infrastructure. 

The club, however, remains uber confident that the permission is only a formality as tickets for the tie are already available online. 

This is the first time a match will be held at the Maidan after the inception of National Football League in 1996 even though it had hosted many high-profile clashes before that.

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The main reservation about the club ground is the frequent crowd troubles, a culture that has its roots in the turbulent thirties of the last century.

Mohun Bagan saw an attendance of more than 20,000 in all of their home matches at the club ground in this year's Calcutta Football League, even against local minnows. However, crowd trouble showed its ugly head when players of the club Peerless had to leave the venue in a police van after finding themselves in the midst of an agitation by an angry mob.

As the most promising youngsters get ready to take the only field that has been the stomping ground of all five Padma Shri winning footballers from India, it remains to be seen whether Bagan can ensure a safe playing environment for them.

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