The Kolkata derby, one of the most prestigious matches in the Indian football calendar, is set to be a 'behind closed doors' affair, following a government directive.
Not only that, the Indian Super League final between Chennaiyin and ATK in Goa on Saturday too is likely to be played in an empty stadium.
I-League champions Mohun Bagan were set to face East Bengal in what was to be the final Kolkata derby in the I-League era, following Mohun Bagan's move to the Indian Super League (ISL) from next season after a merger with ATK. This fixture was, is and will be the most iconic Indian football derby of all time.
Goal report that the decision to play behind closed doors follows a directive from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to the Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all other recognised sports bodies including the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The directive states, "In the event the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing the gathering of people, including spectators."
Meanwhile, reports have confirmed that the AIFF will most likely have to adhere to the instruction from the central government and ensure the ISL final is held without any fans present.