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Tough draw for EB in IFA Shield

Calcutta: Not just the ongoing Federation Cup, but this season’s IFA Shield, too, has East Bengal placed in a tough group.

Apart from United SC, East Bengal will have to contest against Singapore’s Geylang International FC and Busan Kion Tong of South Korea in Group I to vie for a place in the semi-final.

East Bengal begin their campaign against Busan Kion Tong at the Barasat Stadium, on January 29, which is the tournament opener. The semi-final date is February 8, while the final is scheduled for February 11, at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, may find it comparatively easy as their group (Group II) has Mohammedan Sporting, Lajong FC and Bangladesh’s Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.

Meanwhile, IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli sent a letter to the CAB, seeking the latter’s support to advance the period — when the Army takes over the Maidan — from October 1-15 to June 1-15. “We too would like the period to be advanced,” CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.