I-League chief: Srinagar to remain venue for Minerva Punjab match

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The uncertainty over the match between Minerva Punjab FC and Real Kashmir to be played at TRC Polo SyntheticTurf Ground, Srinagar, looms large with the club and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) holding counter views on the issue.

Officials at Minvera insist that they will not go to Srinagar till they receive a written assurance from the home team or the AIFF. In an email to AIFF, Henna Singh, Director, Minerva Punjab FC, asked the AIFF to provide an assurance concerning their safety.

“As you know we had asked for written assurance and permission from Ministry of Home Affairs which we still haven’t got from you or Home team’s end,” he wrote in the email.

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Henna Singh also wrote in the mail that the club’s foreign players have received a travel advisory from their respective embassies not to travel to Srinagar till further intimation from their embassies.

“Please note that our foreign players have already received Travel Advisory Warnings from their respective embassies asking them not to travel to Srinagar till further notice,” he pointed out.

The club says that after discussing the matter among themselves, they felt that this was not a risk that they were ready to take and hence they would not be travelling to Srinagar.

However, officials at AIFF told IANS that the match would be played as scheduled and all arrangements had been made. The Match Commissioner has given his report on the security arrangements and this had been forwarded to Minerva Punjab.

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“We have forwarded the report of the Match Commissioner to Minerva Punjab. We made all necessary arrangements and expecting the match to be played as scheduled,” said Sunando Dhar, I-League CEO.

“Real Kashmir too have foreign players, they have a foreign coach. If they can stay there, can practice in full swing even during the turbulent time, then why can’t Minerva go there and play the match?” Dhar said.

–IANS

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