IPL 2023: Nothing to do with crowd management at the stadium, says KKR on fans denied entry over wearing Mohun Bagan shirts

Kolkata, May 22 (IANS) Two-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders said on Monday that it has nothing to do with the crowd management at the Eden Gardens, days after multiple reports emerged regarding fans being denied entry over wearing iconic football side Mohun Bagan’s t-shirts.

“There are some misleading reports that are floating around that KKR management had stopped some fans from entering Eden Gardens during the KKR vs LSG IPL game on May 20.”

“For the record, KKR management has nothing to do with crowd management at the stadium. We understand some ambush marketing was attempted by some vested interests, which as per IPL league policy was promptly stopped by the IPL league Anti -Ambush Marketing team.”

“KKR is grateful for the great relationship with all its fans in Kolkata and for making every game at Eden Gardens a full house! It has among the largest fan bases of any franchise and would never disrespect anyone,” said the franchise in an official statement.

For Saturday’s match at the Eden Gardens, Lucknow Super Giants had worn jerseys with colours of the Mohun Bagan team in its match against Kolkata Knight Riders to honour the legacy of the Kolkata-based football club, who are also the defending champions of the Indian Super League (ISL). Incidentally, both teams are owned by the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.

But multiple reports came out alleging that fans were denied entries into the stadium as their t-shirts and jerseys carried the century-old Mohun Bagan team logo on them, which invited huge criticism from club secretary Debashis Dutta on Sunday.

“It was a special match for the supporters of Mohun Bagan because LSG was wearing a new Green and Maroon jersey. But the KKR management curtailed the freedom of the Mohun Bagan supporters (who are also fans of KKR and LSG) by not allowing them to enter the stadium as they were wearing the jersey of Mohun Bagan.”

“Since 1990, I have been watching FIFA World Cup matches by travelling to different parts of the world by wearing our National Club i.e, Mohun Bagan’s jersey and I have never been stopped anywhere. It is an individual’s right to support and wear the jersey of the team which he/she loves and supports.”

“No one has the right to interfere in one’s own choice. Mohun Bagan Athletic Club strongly condemns this decision of KKR management for disrespecting the National Club of India and hurting the sentiment of our supporters,” wrote Dutta in his statement.

Coming to the match, Lucknow beat Kolkata in a thrilling match by a solitary run to qualify for the playoffs. They will now play in the eliminator against five-time winners Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.

–IANS

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