AFC Cup: Minerva Punjab FC to play remaining home games in Guwahati

I-League club Minerva Punjab FC will play its remaining two AFC Cup home matches – against Chennaiyin FC on June 19 and Abahani Dhaka on June 26 – at Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.

The Minerva Punjab team. (File Photo)   -  I-League

 I-League club Minerva Punjab FC will play its remaining two AFC Cup home matches – against Chennaiyin FC on June 19 and Abahani Dhaka on June 26 –at Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, club owner Ranjit Bajaj confirmed to Sportstar on Wednesday.

After getting permission to play only its first home game at  Odisha's Kalinga Stadium – which is to undergo renovation work ahead of next year's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup – Minerva looked at multiple venues such as Goa's Fatorda Stadium, Pune's Balewadi Stadium and Delhi's JLN Stadium, to host its second and third home matches.

The club finally zeroed down on the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium – the home ground of Indian Super League club NorthEast United FC – this week.

READ | Minerva Punjab to play first AFC Cup home game at Kalinga Stadium

“We will be playing our two remaining home matches at Guwahati. We don't require an inspection because the venue was used as a home stadium by Aizawl FC for the AFC Cup last year,” Bajaj said. 

The stadium also previously hosted group stage matches during the 2017 FIFA U-17 men's World Cup.

Minerva will play close to Rs 4 lakh to host both the matches, a sharp contrast from the 22 lakh fee the other stadiums were demanding per game.

Minerva is currently third in Group E of the AFC Cup after playing out three successive draws against Chennaiyin FC, Bangladesh's Abahani Dhaka, and Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club.

The side will next travel to Nepal to face Manang Marshyangdi Club on May 15, before hosting Chennaiyin FC and Abahani Dhaka on June 19 and June 26 respectively. 

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