I-League 2018-19: Floodlights go out during Chennai City FC v Shillong Lajong FC game
The match 55 of the I-League between Chennai City FC and Shillong Lajong FC was simply a one-sided affair wherein the home side, Chennai City, thrashed Lajong 6-1.
After a winless run of three games, Chennai City redeemed themselves with a thumping win, thanks to Pedro Manzi's hat-trick and Nestor Gordillo's brace. Roberto Eslava also found his name on the scoresheet while Lajong's only goal came from Samuel Lalmuanpuia.
ALSO READ: 3 reasons for Chennai City's resounding win
While Chennai City FC were looking to increase their goal difference to their level best, an unexpected event occurred in the 83rd minute of the game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai when the floodlights went off on all the towers.
It was the first time that the lights had gone off in the middle of a game in Coimbatore and the organisers will surely hope it's the last time such an incident happens.
The I-League is already facing some tough competition from the Indian Super League (ISL) over promotions and telecast of all its matches. Star recently announced that it would telecast only 30 of the remaining I-League matches from Dec 29, a move that drew flak from the Indian football fraternity.
And when lights go off in the middle of the game, it's sure to attract negative publicity for the I-League, something the top division of Indian football can ill-afford right now.
The Chennai vs Lajong was one of the games broadcast by Star and when the lights went off towards the end of the game, Star immediately cut to commercials. After a round of commercials, the TV network aired some highlight reels from the Indian national football team and ISL matches.
The fans at the stadium, meanwhile, turned all their phone flashlights on and the play was stopped at that very instant. It roughly took around 15 minutes for the technicians to fix it and the lights were switched on one by one.
The players were seen practising some warm-up drills so that they don't cool down for the rest of the game.
The is not the first time that matches in the I-League have been interrupted due to power outages. The start of the second half between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters in the ISL was pushed off by 25 minutes due to a power failure at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on November 5.
In the 2017-18 ISL season, the game between BFC and NorthEast United on Jan 26 had to be stopped midway for the same reason.
Similarly back in 2014, in the inaugural season of the ISL, the floodlights went out during the game between Atletico de Kolkata (now ATK) and Chennaiyin FC, causing an 11-minute delay.