I-League 2018-19: Real Kashmir vs Minerva Punjab - 5 times when matches were abandoned in Indian football
Real Kashmir FC hogged the limelight after they qualified for the I-League this season by winning the Second Division League, becoming the first team to do so. The ‘Snow Leopards’ made headlines throughout the league this season for their clinical performances, which have made them possible title contenders.
But now, they are in the news as Minerva Punjab FC refused to travel to Srinagar and play Real Kashmir owing to security concerns after the ‘Pulwama’ Terror attack.
East Bengal are also scheduled to play Real Kashmir at the TRC Stadium in Srinagar but it is still not sure whether the match would take place or not. There is word around that Real Kashmir’s home matches may be shifted outside Srinagar.
However, this is not the first time that a match was abandoned in Indian football.
Let us have a look at 5 instances when matches have been abandoned in Indian football:
#5 Salgaoncar vs Air India (National Football League 1996-97)
Let’s turn the clocks back to 1997, to the first season of the National Football League (which later became the I-League). Air India (based in Mumbai) had to play an away match against Salgaoncar in Margao, Goa. The visitors took the lead, which was more than what the home fans could take. There were disturbances from the crowd which turned violent. Without taking any risks, the All India Football Federation decided to abandon the match with a replay later on.
#4 United Sports Club vs Railways FC (IFA League 2015)
Probably the most interesting match to feature on this list. A Premier ‘B’ division match of the IFA League between United SC and Railway FC had to be abandoned because the pitch was invaded by four monkeys at the Khardah Stadium in the outskirts of Kolkata.
The guests arrived at 2 pm, which forced the kick-off to shift a little after 2.15 pm, which was the scheduled time. Soon after the match got underway, Railway FC took the lead but he opponents levelled the score later on. It was only after the half-hour mark that the monkeys reappeared once again following which the match was abandoned.