NE, Darjeeling Students racially abused and receive rape threat at Durand Cup 2023 in EBFC vs NEUFC Semi Final match

Amid a lively football match of Durand Cup 2023 between North East United FC and East Bengal FC at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati stadium, known as the Salt Lake stadium, a group of students from the Northeast and Darjeeling became victims of hurtful words, offensive comments, and even physical attacks.

According to The Indian Express, one of the students who spoke up said, “It all started when we were on the metro heading to the stadium. East Bengal supporters called us names like ‘corona’ and ‘momo’. We didn’t pay much attention to it at first.”

The situation escalated when North East United scored their first goal. About 300 to 400 unruly spectators started throwing things like water bottles, shoes, and even stones. They also continued yelling offensive comments. There were around 80 to 90 students from the Northeast and Darjeeling watching the game from ramp 16. When our team scored a goal, the crowd began shouting derogatory words. They called us ‘momo’, ‘chowmein’, ‘corona’, and made rude gestures,” a student claimed.

Two of the students got slightly hurt during this chaos. We were all frightened. The police and army personnel protected us, and we moved to a safer area under the stadium’s cover. Security staff used three vehicles to take the students back to their hostels.

The Kolkata police arrested six spectators involved in the incident immediately. Both the football teams strongly condemned the racist incident.

durand cup 2023

After the match ended in a 2-2 tie, East Bengal ultimately won the game through a penalty shootout. Raja Guha, a member of East Bengal Club’s committee, mentioned, “I was at the field yesterday. I didn’t witness anything like this. Players from both teams were friendly, but I will look into this incident.”

The Durand Cup, a long-standing football tournament in Asia, is being hosted by the Durand Football Tournament Society with support from AIFF, the Indian Army’s Eastern Command, and the governments of West Bengal and Assam.

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