I-League: remaining matches to be held behind closed doors

The remaining I-League fixtures in the 2019-20 season will not be open to fans as part of precautions being taken to safeguard against coronavirus pandemic.

While Mohun Bagan has already clinched the I-League title for the season before a roaring crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium, the remaining fixtures of the tournament will not be open to fans.   -  I-League

Keeping with the government directives to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced that the remaining fixtures of the 2019-20 edition of the I-League will be held behind closed doors.

Besides team officials and players, match officials (referees), medical staff, TV crew, accredited media and required security personnel, no one else will be allowed inside the stadium premises on match day and the day preceding it.

The development comes a day after the Government of India's directive to avoid large gathering of people a a measure to guard against the novel coronavirus outbreak in India. Ticket sales for the much-awaited I-League Kolkata derby featuring East Bengal and Mohun Bagan were stopped.

Discussions of playing the game behind closed doors were not met favourably by East Bengal, which refused  play the fixture before empty stands.

The Indian Super League (ISL) final between Chennaiyin FC and ATK on Saturday will also be a closed-door affair. Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), owing to the current preventive measures against COVID-19, has taken this decision.

The government's directive has been sent to the Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all other national sporting bodies including the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

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