MB, EB ask fans to turn out in large numbers to show strength

first_imgKolkata, Jul 3 (PTI) Showing solidarity, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal today pledged to send a message to the rival Indian Super League by showing their supporters strength on the field in the upcoming I-League. There will be two official leagues in the upcoming season with the All India Football Federation striking out a compromise formula to deal with the ISL and I-League stalemate. Indias two premier football clubs, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, decided to opt out of the IMG-Reliance-run ISL as the Big Two were against giving franchisee fees among other things. Running parallel with the lucrative ISL, I-League may lose its sheen but Mohun Bagan and East Bengal today said they would stand the test of time and they found support from AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta. “We have agreed in totality that if we have to show our strength, we will do it on the field,” Mohun Bagan finance secretary Debasish Dutta said, sitting alongside East Bengal assistant secretary Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta in a panel discussion at the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club. “We request all our fans to fill in the ground in such a way the stands are packed and theres 5000 more outside. And no tickets will be free. We want to show our strength,” said the Mohun Bagan official. “At the same time we wont ask them (fans) to not go to ISL. They are free to support ISL but our request is to show our strength for each of our matches in the I-League.” He went on to draw a parallel with their epic 1911 IFA Shield triumph over British team of East Yorkshire Regiment that played a role in countrys Independence movement. “History says we have won bigger battles that too in barefoot. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the clubs because of their fans, their performances on field. “We have always been in top five of countrys league. We have seen many clubs — Dempo, Pune FC, Mahindra United to name a few — come and go but we are permanent. These eight (ISL) clubs are jut three-year-olds,” Debasish said. He also praised IMG-Reliance for choosing to develop the financially-stricken Indian football. “We must thank them. They have chosen football over cricket. We must not forget that we could not participate in the World Cup due to lack of funds!” Blaming the AIFF, he said: “They should have shown them the right path, of reviving the I-League instead of creating a new league (ISL).” AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta came out in support of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal and said its about the interest of Indian football. “They are not opposing ISL but its a battle between ISL versus I-League. We must not forget we are talking about one club (Mohun Bagan) which is 128-years-old and another (East Bengal) of 97,” he said. “ISL would not have been born without I-League. By not including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, its not being fair to them. “Their annual budget is worth around Rs 15-17 crores and to expect them to pay a franchisee fee of Rs 15 crore is not fair. Even the companies do not double their turnover in one year. They (AIFF and IMG-Reliance) should have been more flexible,” Dutta, who is also the president of state football body Indian Football Association, said. “Football is club-based. The more we develop players and infrastructure, the better it would be for the country.” Questioning the fan-base of the ISL clubs, he said: “I doubt whether the clubs even have a signboard. They are mostly run by corporates with only interest to make business and not players development.” “The century-old clubs have done sacrifice for clubs who are three years old. The future is tense for Indian football,” he concluded. PTI TAP PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more

Two Canadians among those sought by US authorities over attack on protesters

first_imgWASHINGTON – Two Canadians are among more than a dozen people sought in connection with a violent attack on protesters during an official visit by Turkey’s president to the U.S. capital last month.Police in Washington, D.C., say they have issued arrest warrants for Mahmut Sami Ellialti on charges of felony aggravated assault and felony assault with significant bodily injury, as well as for Ahmet Dereci on charges of felony assault with significant bodily injury and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner.A police spokeswoman said the two are residents of Canada but it is not yet known whether they have Canadian citizenship.The pair told the CBC last year that they are staunch supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and had voted to elect him.“Recep Tayyip Erdogan was chosen by the Turkish people. We voted for him and we want him to be our president,” Dereci told the broadcaster at the time.The New York Times reported last month that Dereci travelled to Washington with his cousin.Also sought by U.S. authorities are nine Turkish security agents and three Turkish police officers, who face either misdemeanour or felony assault charges.In a news conference Thursday, District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham urged those being sought and some still unidentified to surrender and face American justice, adding two Americans were arrested a day earlier in the case.The brawl, which exacerbated the already strained U.S.-Turkey relations, broke out as Erdogan arrived May 16 at the Turkish ambassador’s residence after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump.Newsham said video showed security guards and some Erdogan supporters attacking a small group of protesters. Nine people were hurt.Erdogan’s security detail returned with him to Turkey after his visit, so it was unclear if any would face any immediate U.S. legal repercussions. However, they could end up being threatened with arrest if they return to the U.S. If any are still in the country, they could be expelled if Turkey refuses to waive diplomatic immunity.last_img read more