Crowd trouble at Kolkata derby of U-18 I-League

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Kolkata, Dec 1 (IANS) A bitter scuffle between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan fans on Thursday marred a U-18 I-League derby football match between the two city giants.

The tension rose to such a pitch that mounted police had to intervene twice during the game and bring the situation under control.

Trouble started in the 39th minute when East Bengal player Mehtab Singh thought he had doubled their tally with a goal from a free kick.

East Bengal had taken the lead in the 22nd minute through Lalchawnhima. But the referee took four long minutes to review the goal after initially allowing it, reasoning that the free kick which was awarded was hurriedly taken.

This led to uproar among the East Bengal faithfuls and the situation boiled over when Mohun Bagan restored parity in the 88th minute.

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Mounted police, meanwhile, had to intervene twice in each half to keep things in check.

At the end of the match, stones were pelted on the ground and firelights hurled as Mohun Bagan fans started chasing the East Bengal pack who were creating the nuisance.

No one was hurt as police brought things under control but the ugly scenes left a bad taste in the mouth especially with this being an age-group tie.

“Why did the referee take so long to disallow the goal? Our players started celebrating,” East Bengal coach Ranjan Chowdhury told mediapersons after the match.

Mohun Bagan counterpart and former India international Jo Paul Ancheri said, “We are happy with the result. I would not like to comment on the incident.”

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