Pulwama Terror Attack: East Bengal to seek relocation of I-League tie against Real Kashmir
East Bengal will urge the All Indian Football Federation to relocate their match against Real Kashmir in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, a top official said on Thursday. In that case, the match will most probably be shifted to the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
An official application will be sent to the AIFF on Friday, which will include the club’s preferred venue. If the AIFF decides to relocate the match, they will have the final say regarding the venue.
In the biggest terrorist attack in recent times, several CRPF personnel were martyred in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. At least two buses from the convoy carrying the personnel were targeted. At the time of filing this report, 44 soldiers lost their lives with the death toll increasing in every minute.
The match between Real Kashmir and East Bengal, which was scheduled to happen on February 10, was called off due to the inclement weather condition of Srinagar. The pitch was covered with snow and Real Kashmir didn’t have any necessary equipment to make the pitch ready to play.
Apart from that, the airport was shut due to heavy snowfall, making it impossible for East Bengal to reach the venue. Gokulam Kerala, who played against Real Kashmir, were stuck for five days at Srinagar due to cancelled flights.
The match was rescheduled on February 28. But as the current scenario goes, Kashmiris' wish to see East Bengal play at their home ground will remain unfulfilled. The AIFF may have to take a hard call as far as the security of the players is concerned.
The match has already earned much attention, given the fact that both teams are in contention for the title. Real Kashmir are now occupying the 2nd position in the league table, while East Bengal are a place behind, although they have played one match less.
East Bengal, who thumped Shillong Lajong by 5-0 on Thursday, leapfrogged Churchill Brothers to third. They will climb to the second position with a win in their next match against Churchill Brothers, depending on the results between Real Kashmir and Minerva Punjab match, who will play on the same day.