East Bengal is set to take on Mohun Bagan on 12 August at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan during the ongoing Durand Cup. However, a day before the scheduled clash, the players took cabs and rickshaws to reach the training ground. It happened because the team’s bus reached late, forcing the club management to arrange for cabs and rickshaws on August 11, Friday.
The East Bengal’s team bus was supposed to reach at 6 pm for the training session scheduled at 6:30 pm. However, it didn’t happen, and the management called for cabs and rickshaws to take the players to the training ground. East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar told Indian Express that such a thing shouldn't have happened, especially before a match. However, the picture of players in rickshaws is doing rounds on social media.
Sarkar was quoted by the Indian Express as, “It should not have happened before a derby. But I heard that it was unintentional and such things should be kept in check. However, a source close to the team management said that it is Durand Cup Committee that arranges the bus and not the club management."
The source said, “Had they informed us before, the East Bengal club could have arranged a bus. But by the time we received the information from the committee, it was too late. The bus only arrived 20 mins after practice began, and coach Carles Cuadrat was naturally not pleased at all,”
Notably, the match slated on August 12 will be this season’s first Kolkata derby.