THE Salt Lake Stadium has a habit of leaving everyone in the dark. Brazilian legend Zico had to suffer when he came here as Japan coach for a World Cup qualifier in 2004 and the stadium plunged into darkness. Then Bayern Munich All Stars XI captain Paul Breitner had a close shave after another power failure saw him almost bang his head against the wall in the dark. It didnt spare the great Lionel Messi either,when he led Argentina in a friendly against Venezuela in 2011.
Power cut became a routine at the stadium during big matches and after darkness stopped a Mohun Bagan-East Bengal match in December 2011,Sports Minister Madan Mitra stopped evening matches at the stadium. Now,having done his reverse ferret,he has allowed Sundays IFA Shield semi-final between Bagan and East Bengal to be held under lights.
Yes,we have to ensure that nothing disrupts the game. Nothing better than a flood-lit Salt Lake Stadium when the arch-rivals face off. We expect a turnout of close to 80,000 and I hope all goes well, IFA secretary Utpal Ganguli said.