Saunders arrive for Mohun Bagan test
Sri Lankan club Saunders SC landed in the city Thursday evening — a day prior to their scheduled arrival — for the second leg AFC Champions League match against Mohun Bagan. The Calcutta team had won the first leg tie 2-0 in Colombo.
With Bhaichung Bhutia and Jose Ramirez Barreto set to make their city debut as a striking duo in Sunday’s match, the Mohun Bagan fans are expected to fill up the Salt Lake Stadium. State sports minister Subhas Chakraborty announced Thursday that 1.16 lakh tickets will be distributed. The capacity is 1.27 lakh. The state government will run 400 special buses available from Howrah, Esplanade, Park Circus, Gariahat and Garia.
Sikkim request turned down
The Sikkim Football Association (SFA) wants Bhaichung Bhutia to don Sikkim colours in next month’s Santosh Trophy to be held in Imphal. But the star striker is unlikely to be released by his club Mohun Bagan.
“We don’t mind letting others go, but won’t release Bhaichung for the Santosh Trophy,” said club secretary Anjan Mitra. Ram Rai and Shishir Karthak are the two others from Sikkim on the Mohun Bagan roster.
According to a recent AIFF decision, a footballer may turn out for his native state if the AIFF and his club give permission.
William Walmsley of the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute Thursday visited the Eden Gardens and expressed satisfaction at the newly laid turf. Walmsley is currently visiting all the 11 centres in which the preparation of grounds and wickets have been taken up. Cuttack is his next stop. He was accompanied by G. Kasturirangan, chairman of the grounds and pitches committee.
State jr snooker
Saurav Kothari and Brijesh Damani entered the semi-finals of the Coca Cola state junior snooker championship Thursday. Kothari and Damani notched up 3-1 wins over Ankit Shroff and J.S. Shaw.
TODAY IN SPORT
FOOTBALL: Calcutta League, 1st div. group B, relegation play-off (1st leg): Aikya vs Cal. Police (E. Bengal, 3 pm). 2nd div. championship play-off final: Janbazar AC vs Tagra FC (Md. Sp, 3 pm). 2nd div. relegation play-off, 1st leg: Gymkhana vs Southern Samity (High Court, 3.15 pm); Jugasanti vs Bowbazar YMU (YMCA, 3.15 pm).
SNOOKER: Coca Cola state junior meet: Semi-finals at BRC.
GENERAL: Condolence meeting in hockey umpire Dilip Bose’s memory at BHA office from 6.30 pm.