MOHUN BAGAN HAVE reportedly requested the Durand Cup organising committee to move the Kolkata Derby forward by a day.
The Mariners are scheduled to face their arch rivals East Bengal on 12th August in the group stages of the Durand Cup, which will be the first Kolkata Derby of the 2023-24 season. However, 4 days later, Mohun Bagan are supposed to play in the AFC Cup qualifiers.
Due to the importance of the international level match, Bagan management don't want to risk their players not being at 100% health due to another high pressure game they played recently.
The Kolkata Derby, which attracts the highest attendance of any football match in India, is known to be a pressure cooker for the participating teams. Major bragging rights are tied to this match and the fans of both clubs take this match seriously regardless of which competition it takes place in.
Taking all this into account, the Mohun Bagan management want the match to be held on 11th August instead. If not, they may decide to field a development team in Durand Cup - the same young side which is playing in the Calcutta Football League - instead of their first team.
If Mohun Bagan happen to win their AFC Cup qualifier match on the 16th, they will progress to the playoff match on the 22nd August.