The brand new season of I-League begins this weekend and former champions Mohun Bagan have to move their match against Churchill Brothers this Sunday from the Rabindra Sarobar stadium Kolkata to the Barasat Stadium, as per a Kolkata High Court verdict on Friday.
The club had decided to play their I-League matches at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. Everything was going fine, until West Bengal environmental activist Subhash Dutta decided to move the National Green Tribunal. The Green Tribunal of Kolkata has now put a stay order on Mohun Bagan's evening matches.
According to local reports from Kolkata, Subhash Dutta alleged that the club has not been following guidelines and the matches under floodlights could damage the eco-sensitive zone near the stadium.
Rabindra Sarobar has an iconic lake home to diverse flora and fauna and it is protected under the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems.
"The court has earlier passed an order and a guideline for all the floodlight games at the Rabindra Sarobar. [Indian Super League side] Atletico de Kolkata had followed the guidelines and was therefore allowed to play their matches at the venue. Similarly, all teams including Mohun Bagan will also have to follow the guidelines," environmentalist Mudar Patharia has been quoted as saying by Xtra Time.
"The Mohun Bagan club officials should have followed the guidelines to host their matches at the Rabindra Sarobar."
Due to unavoidable circumstances, first match of Mohunbagan is shifted again to Barasat. Details to follow.— Mohun Bagan A.C. (@MohunBagan) January 6, 2017