ISL 2017: ATK vs FC Goa kickoff to be delayed by at least an hour
Two delayedd flights meant that FC Goa will land in Kolkata just hours before the match.
What’s the story?
Wednesday night’s high-voltage ISL encounter between two teams from areas that are considered to be the heavyweights of Indian football, ATK and FC Goa, which is set to be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, has been delayed by an hour.
In case you didn’t know…
FC Goa have had an unlucky couple of days ahead of their match against the defending champions, as their chartered flight to Kolkata broke down minutes after it set off on the runway at the Dabolim Airport, on Tuesday evening.
While they rescheduled their flight Wednesday morning, another incident (a jet caught fire on the runway) meant that all flights from the airport were delayed indefinitely.
Heart of the matter
While the team did finally take off, the players are yet to land in Kolkata, according to ATK officials. These delayed flights sparked off fears that the match would have to be postponed, as ISL regulations state that the teams must arrive at the venue at least 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
However, ATK officials had confirmed to Sportskeeda that the match would take place on Wednesday. Now, a confirmation has been received that the match between ATK and FC Goa, which was supposed to kick off at 8 pm, will now be delayed by “at least an hour”. As of now, the match is set to kick off at 9 pm.
This match had already been postponed from December 31 to January 3, something that FC Goa had vehemently protested against, as they would have a cramped schedule. With their delayed flights and now the delayed match, it would be interesting to see whether the Gaurs would be fit enough to play the match, just hours after landing in Kolkata.
Such delayed flights are out of the hands of the clubs, and the league organisers need to take these things into consideration. Delaying the kickoff by an hour does not really solve the problem, as the Goa players are likely to be jaded from their flight.