East Bengal expresses concerns over playing in Srinagar

East Bengal has sought for a postponement of the match against Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar due to security concerns.

File Photo: East Bengal and Real Kashmir FC in action at the Salt Lake Stadium.   -  I-League

Quess East Bengal FC voiced its concern about the prevailing situation in Srinagar and has sought a postponement or a change of venue of its upcoming I-League match against Real Kashmir FC.

Debabrata Sarkar, one of the directors of the Kolkata giant, said that the head coach of the team and a number of players, especially the foreigners, are feeling apprehensive about the volatile situation in and around Srinagar.

The match, initially scheduled for February 10, was postponed to February 28 due to thick snow cover on the ground in Srinagar.

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Sarkar added that Alejandro Menendez, the team’s Spanish coach, has mailed his “serious reservations about playing the match in Srinagar” to the CEO of the team, Sanjit Sen.

“The primary concern is about the players, who are quite apprehensive of the existing situation. The situation is extremely volatile in Srinagar and if we are forced to play, the players will be doing it under duress,” said Sarkar.

The TRC ground was covered in thick snow ahead of Real Kashmir's match against East Bengal.   -  Twitter @realkashmirfc


“The All India Football Federation should take a decision after properly assessing the situation and not just to prove a point. We can certainly travel to Srinagar and play the match but when the situation is normal,” he added.

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East Bengal placed on record a mail sent to AIFF by the team CEO Sanjit Sen outlining the concern of the team and its manager. The CEO’s letter, while addressing the concern of the coach and its players, asked the national federation about a possibility of having the match at a neutral venue.

According to the team officials, AIFF has refused to postpone the match or change the venue while asking the team to send its travel plans to arrange for additional security for the team.

“If we do not get a satisfactory reply from AIFF then we decide on the next course of action,” Sarkar said.

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