Mohun Bagan not to play IFA Shield

December 22nd, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 22 (IANS) Federation Cup champions Mohun Bagan Monday said it would not participate in the IFA Shield football tournament next month as the players needed to be given sufficient rest for the I-League.”We’re in the I-League title race. We won’t play the Shield, as the players are dog tired,” club general secretary Anjan Mitra told reporters.

The club registered their 13th Federation Cup triumph Sunday, and are at the second slot of the I-League halfway into the glamorous competition. Mohun Bagan have culled 21 points, four less then league leaders Sporting Clube de Goa, from 11 outings.

“The players will not get any recovery time if they turn out in the Shield. Definitely, the league is more important to us. Also, this time two editions of the Shield are being played in the same calendar year. While one edition will be in January, the other will be in June-July,” Mitra said.

“So, we have written to IFA secretary Utpal Ganguly saying we want to play in only one edition, that is the one in June-July. We hope, the IFA will accede to our request,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan officials and players observed a minute’s silence Monday in memory of club fan Sanjib Das, who died earlier in the day following a severe head injury sustained after a fall from the gallery just before the start of the Federation Cup final match between Mohun Bagan and Dempo Sports Club at the Salt Lake stadium Sunday.

Mitra said the club would reimburse the entire hospitalisation cost of the 27-year-old youth.

The planned celebrations at the club tent for the Federation Cup success were scaled down as a mark of respect to Das.

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