I-League: Free tickets for women, school kids at East Bengal’s home games

Kolkata, Nov 11 (IANS) In a bid to bring women and children to their I-League home matches at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here from this season, city football giants East Bengal will be providing free tickets this season.

“We have been inspired from the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The number of spectators that came to watch the games spread across different age groups and the enthusiasm among women and school children has been an eye opener. We want to try and replicate that in our home games this season,” East Bengal assistant secretary Santi Ranjan Dasgupta told IANS on Saturday.

Although free tickets were not distributed during the U-17 World Cup, the final of which was hosted by the revamped Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, school children attending games was a regular feature.

In New Delhi, 27,000 tickets were given to school children for the opening matches.

Dasgupta also said he has urged the I-League committee to schedule their games on weekends, alternating between Saturdays and Sundays for better audience and television viewing.

“I attended the I-League committee meeting recently and I have raised these points. We need games on weekends for people to come in numbers and from all strata of the society,” he added.

It was also learnt that the red and gold brigade are planning to arrange for refreshments for those who will purchase VIP tickets, taking cue from the youth World Cup which was an overall success here.

A semi-final between England and Brazil was shifted within 24 hours’ notice from Guwahati due to poor ground conditions after torrential downpour.

The I-League is expected is expected to start from the third week of November.

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