Floodlights fail during Kolkata soccer match

Floodlights fail during Kolkata soccer match

The green-and-maroon brigade was leading by an Okolie Odafa strike before an over 90,000 crowd when the stadium suddenly plunged into darkness. The power supply was, however, restored after 19 minutes and the last few minutes of the match played.
Mohun Bagan Club, which organised the match, alleged sabotage.

“Two days back, we had written to Sports Minister Madan Mitra expressing fears of sabotage. Our worst fears have come true. This must be probed. In future when we organise such matches, we will hold them outside Kolkata,” said Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra.

The sports minister, however, ruled out any foul play.

“The stadium's floodlight system runs through two parallel lines. There was an external fault in the first line which caused a power trip in the second line as well. But there was no sabotage. I was inside the stadium and I can assure you that,” Mitra said.

The minister promised a thorough enquiry and said future matches will be held only after a full-proof system was in place. “We will ensure that such things don’t recur.”

The Salt Lake stadium has been notorious for such power breakdowns. A blackout occurred during the World Cup qualifier between India and Japan in 2004.

About two and half months back, after the Argentina-Venezuela FIFA international friendly, in which Lionel Messi took part, there was  a power failure during Venezuelan coach Cesar Farias’ post-match press conference at the stadium.

Messi was scheduled to attend the media meet, but decided against it after the power fiasco.