Calcutta: The fear of getting banned from future AFC tournaments has left the East Bengal brass shaken and stirred.
On Tuesday, at a media conference, the club urged the fans not to create a ruckus during their AFC Cup quarter final clash against Semen Padang on September 17 at the Salt Lake Stadium.
East Bengal have been fined twice by the AFC for failing to keep the crowd under control.
Last year, during the game against Al-Orouba of Yemen, East Bengal were fined $5000 after a bottle was hurled from the stands, while this year, it was $6000 after fans burst firecrackers to celebrate a goal against Yangon United of Myanmar.
The club, though, hasn’t shelled out $6000 as it pleaded to the AFC that the firecrackers incident was a one-off one.
A third incident will certainly be catastrophic for the club. “We are walking on thin ice. If something happens on September 17, AFC can impose a harsh punishment.
“It might so happen that we have to play closed doors in our next home match (if East Bengal do qualify for the semi-finals) or are banned from playing any AFC tournament for a certain number of years.
“We want the fans to come in big numbers, but not to create any nuisance,” club secretary Kalyan Majumdar said on Tuesday.
The club would also inform the fans about the dos and don’ts through circulars. The sale of the match tickets would begin from Wednesday at the club tent.