I-League 2018-19: Real Kashmir-East Bengal match shifted to New Delhi, Minerva matter to be decided by Executive Committee
Real Kashmir will play their ‘home’ match against East Bengal in New Delhi, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed on Monday. The match will be played on February 28, most probably at the Ambedkar Stadium in the capital.
The League Committee meeting took place on Monday at the football house to give their final for the match between Real Kashmir FC and Minerva Punjab FC, with the latter not turning up for their match on February 18 due to security reasons. In their press release, the AIFF said, “After due deliberation, the Committee keeping in view the Hero I-League regulations, decided to refer the matter to the AIFF Executive Committee for a decision.”
Real Kashmir also reiterated to the League Committee that “this uncertainty was not prevalent in Srinagar for the period from February 16-19, 2019,” which means the match could’ve been played under tight security.
Regarding Real Kashmir and East Bengal match, the AIFF said, “RKFC informed in writing that in view of the current uncertainty prevailing in Kashmir due to Article 35A, they want to play their forthcoming Hero I-League match against Quess East Bengal on February 28, 2019 in a neutral venue like New Delhi. Accordingly, the Committee decided to shift the match to Delhi.”
Earlier, East Bengal have expressed their anguish to play in Srinagar under the current situation, but also said they will play only if AIFF asks them. However, the title run came to a blow after their draw against Aizawl FC on Monday.
Meanwhile, Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran said few days ago that they will be happy to host all matches of Real Kashmir at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. Keeping in view the situation and the inclement weather at the valley, Real Kashmir also agreed to their proposal.
AIFF, in their statement also said the qualifiers for the Hero Super Cup will be played in Bhubaneswar from March 15-16, 2019, while the final round of the tournament will be played from March 29 to April 13, 2019. The exact dates of the matches for the final round of the tournament will be announced once the schedule of the AFC Cup is finalised.