AIFF's 'bio-bubble breach' as close to 3000 attend I-League game in Kolkata

Around 3000 spectators turned up for the I-League match between Churchill Brothers FC and Real Kashmir FC at the newly inaugurated Kishore Bharati Stadium.

Prior to the kickoff, West Bengal's Sports Minister, Aroop Biswas inaugurates the Kishore Bharati Stadium.   -  Twitter@ILeagueOfficial

Around 3000 spectators turned up for the I-League match between Churchill Brothers FC and Real Kashmir FC at the newly inaugurated Kishore Bharati Stadium on Monday, making it the first competitive match to have attendance after the COVID-19 restrictions were brought into force post the pandemic.

The bio-secure bubble mandated by the All India Football Federation does not allow spectators in the galleries but the protocol was seemingly breached by the State Government that owns the stadium.

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“The spectators were government invitees but we managed to keep the competition arena and other areas in the bio-bubble,” informed Sunando Dhar, the CEO, Leagues of AIFF. The National federation was apparently compelled by the decision of the state government, which invited a huge gathering, including the media, to witness the inauguration of the new stadium by the state’s Sports Minister, Aroop Biswas.

The latest Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Union Government allows 50 percent attendance in the stadiums and the State Government department seemed to be following that in inviting a few thousand in the stadium which has a stated capacity of 14,100. The remainder of the I-League will played without spectators informed AIFF’s CEO of Leagues.

However, the match between Churchill Brothers and Real Kashmir FC ended in a goalless draw.

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