Derby returns under arc lights, so the dark fear

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 didn't 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 Sunday's 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.

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