Thursday, September 22, 2011

Watching Football at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata

I visited today   largest stadium in the Indian sub-continent. It is currently used for football matches and athletics. The stadium was built in 1984 and holds 120,000  people in a three-tier configuration. The grass area is astroturf. The tract around is synthetic.

Today's match results - Kingfisher East Bengal scraped past Dempo SC one-nil to advance to the semifinal of the 33rd Federation Cup at the Sale Lake Stadium. Striker Robin Singh made the difference between the two teams in the 68th minute. The Red-and-Gold finished their engagements with seven points from three matches while Dempo stayed on three points from three matches.- AIFF

 A few of my observations of the stadium: - It was huge, well lighted and impressive, on the other hand I found out that most of the restrooms were not working well except for urination, lots of stray dogs inside the stadium, crowds peeing behind the stadium, ball boys peeing near the synthetic track was not very impressive either. But you could have a good view from all around the stadium. Below are a few of the photos of the stadium.

And then it rained cats and dogs on the field

I watched two matches with a cop sitting with me,  below are a few of the things that we discussed together.
1.  Kingfisher East Bengal 1-0 Dempo Sporting Pvt. Ltd. (Robin Singh 68') -
East Bengal is a team supported by people who have come from Bangladesh, that football in West Bengal is on the decline with very few clubs to support the top tier. The cop along with his friend told me that there is rampant corruption is selection of football players and that he himself played the 4th division in Kolkata before joining the police force. The supporters of East Bengal came dressed with East Bengal football banners, T- Shirts and cheered loudly at their team, it was almost like a rumbling thunder inside the stadium.  Another unique thing that I found was that after East Bengal won the match, they performed a puja to the team by burning the newspaper, the leftover was not cleaned.

The Cop also told me that Mohun Bagun & East Bengal match is the match to watch and it also makes them very tense as the rivalry is very intense, supporters tend to sit apart. He also mentioned that there used to be plastic chair all around the stadium but all the chairs were removed once when there was a fight between two teams and the chairs were used for artillery. 

2.  Pune FC 0-0 Mohammedan Sporting
The Pune FC team seemed to have a lot of Northeast people, the only team that I observed did not have a black person on their team. Mohammedan sporting supporters were few in number compared to East Bengal. I found the match too boring so went of to have a momo in a restaurant nearby :-)


  1. Thlalak chu a nalh hlawm hle mai...

  2. @ Zara- En ho I la, a nuam tur,player te in hre deuh ang, mahse EB khel en chu crowd ho in boruak an nei ve deuh.