Condition of the artificial turf at the Barasat Stadium raised a big question on Monday when the Kolkata Premier League match between Mohun Bagan and Aryan Club had to be called off by referee Ranjit Bakshi due to torrential rain. The match could be continued 20 minutes only. This was the first time in Kolkata football when rain played spoilsport even an artificial turf. Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen was also surprised as he stated, “I have seen the water logging in a similar fashion at Chogley ground in Goa. But this has been the first time in Kolkata where water logging took place also on the artificial turf.”

Referee, while supervising the ground condition half-an-hour after the rain stopped found the water had also dipped into the Astroturf which itself had gone into the dumps. Mohun Bagan officials including the club’s former footballers like Satyajit Chatterjee and Manas Bhattacharya raised questions over the lack of maintenance of the turf. Their point of dissatisfaction is on the negligence in maintaining the drainage system of the Stadium which has actually been worsening the turf.

Ashish Sarkar, the man who was in charge of Barasat Stadium for last 14 years, strongly criticized the Indian Football Association (IFA) officials’ callousness for such a miserable condition of the Astroturf at the Barasat Stadium. Sarkar complained, “The drainage system under the ground has not been cleaned up for almost one year! Naturally, the water is getting logged and going into the dumps under the Astroturf.” Sarkar now fears that the condition of the floodlight at Barasat Stadium is also going worse. He said, “The IFA has not even received the license of the floodlights in last two years after its installation. Now, if any of the four floodlights gets damaged in a big way it would be too tough to bring the lights on.”

However, for the first time in the history of Kolkata Premier League, On Wednesday, in spite of the political strike in Bengal and all over the country, the match between East Bengal and Kalighat MS is going to be held at the Barasat Stadium. Both the participating teams will be taken to Barasat and accommodated at the hotels on Tuesday night.

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