After two years of long wait, the Kolkata Derby is back at The Salt Lake Stadium. ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will play each other at the infamous stadium of Kolkata on August 16, 2022.
Both clubs are famed for their rivalry and will compete in the Durand Cup, which will begin in August. It will be the 131st edition of the event, one of the oldest in Indian football history.
What’s more interesting, the competition will be contested in India’s most iconic stadium, Salt Lake Stadium, where fans will be able to see two of India’s longest rivalries, ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
Durand Cup 2022 Knowhows
All 11 ISL teams, as well as five I-League teams, will be participating. Four Indian armed forces will also feature for the tradition.
The first game, the Kolkata Derby, will take place on August 16. The day is recalled in the remembrance of Football lovers’ day, when 16 people died on August 16, 1980, following a stampede inside Eden Gardens.
For the first time since 2020, ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will meet in front of a sold-out stadium. Fans will be delighted to witness the ‘Boro Match,’ which has brought so many memories over the decades, after a lengthy hiatus due to Covid.
Is it the right time to kick off the tournament?
Despite the euphoria, the teams are not prepared to start the new season. Therefore, the Durand Cup might be considered a preseason tournament for players.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding their investors, the two major teams, East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan, are yet to form a roster for this competition. That might lead to new players receiving a chance to demonstrate their potential.
Preparation & Hype
Both sides are yet to begin their practice, indicating that they are not prepared for such a massive clash. The tournament is only a few weeks away. If the players aren’t totally fit, the enthusiasm will fade, and there will be lack of emotions in the match.
If both teams deploy second-string players, supporters would be unhappy, perhaps undermining the spirit of the Kolkata Derby, for which Indian football fans leave everything to see the most anticipated match of Indian football.