Mohun Bagan officials have decided not to participate in the prestigious Durand Cup this year. This is the second consecutive year when the National Club won’t field its team in the country’s oldest tournament. Incidentally Mohun Bagan was the first ‘native’ club to be invited for this tournament during the British rule. Mohun Bagan had requested Indian Army to reconsider its decision for prohibiting the clubs to practice in Kolkata Maidan between 1st and 15th October.
Meanwhile Club Gen. Secretary has asked the Ministry of Defense to reconsider the decision of barring the Maidan from 1st to 15th October. Following is the letter –
Dated: 3rd August 2011
We would like to bring to your attention that every year from 1st to 15th October in the Maidan Area of Kolkata (which houses most of the football clubs including ours and which is a Defence property), all sporting activities are suspended and it is also barred to keep any lights on. Even regular administrative work is severely hampered.
As you are aware, this occurs as per a Defence Rule dating back to the British era. However as you can easily appreciate this rule is now totally defunct and illogical and totally opposed to the interests of the clubs, the supporters and Sports itself and we have always voiced our opinion that this rule should be abolished with immediate effect. However our repeated appeals to the Defence authorities in Kolkata as well as in Delhi have fallen on deaf ears.
The Defence is a major patron of Sports and has produced many great sportspersons like Major Dhyan Chand. The Mission Olympic Programme of the Indian Army is also praise-worthy. We therefore request you to please look into the matter and bring in the necessary changes. Once this rule is abolished, the relations between the Sports fraternity and the Defence Establishment will be better than ever before.
Your support and cooperation for the cause of Sports is eagerly solicited.
Anjan Kumar Mitra
Hony. General Secretary
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club