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Durand Cup final: East Bengal, Mohun Bagan fans line up all night for Kolkata Derby tickets

FANS STAYED UP all night, standing in a line to buy a ticket to the Kolkata Derby at the Durand Cup final.

When arch rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan both qualified for the Durand finale, the tournament organisers issued a limited number of tickets for fans and none of it was made available online.

This created a massive crunch for tickets as fans had to rush to get their hands on the tickets. The sales were to begin at 11 am on Friday morning, but the supproters had formed lines outside the Mohun Bagan and East Bengal ground ticket counters as early as 2 am.

The supporters showed up with blankets to sleep on sit down on the line itself as they waited for the counters to open. With the organisers limiting the number of tickets to 2 per person in order to limit the black marketing of the highly sought after items, the lines grew even longer than expected as people travelled from all over South Bengal to queue up at the Maidaan.

All the tickets were sold out within hours, even though thousands of people were still waiting their turn at the line. Due to the Durand Committee distributing a high number of complimentary tickets to friendly organisations for PR purposes (many of whom do not show up), the majority of fans were deprived of an opportunity to witness what is set to be an iconic clash between the two clubs with a 102 year old rivalry between them.

In the history of the Durand Cup, the oldest tournament in Asia, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have faced off many times at the final but this is the first time it's happening at their home city of Kolkata.

Both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have won the Durand 16 times each; a tournament record. So whoever wins on Sunday will make Indian football history as the club with the highest number of titles in the prestigious competition. This has made the game all the more important, and the poor way the tickets were handled by the organisers throughout the competition all the more regrettable.

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