Real Kashmir, Gokulam Kerala make peace after spat

Real Kashmir earlier alleged that its the coach and other members were abused and heckled by officials of Gokulam Kerala, something the Kozhikode based club refuted.

Kozhikode's EMS stadium in in set to host the I-League match between Gokulam Kerala and Real Kashmir.   -  K.Ragesh

After trading furious allegations on the eve of their I-League match, Gokulam Kerala and Real Kashmir will come face to face at the Corporation Stadium on Saturday.

The issue was about the training facilities for the visiting side. Real Kashmir officials said they were not allowed to practise at the venue, from where they were “rudely turned away” by the Gokulam management. They also alleged that the bus that was to take them to the practice ground arrived late.

According to the Gokulam spokesperson, the Real Kashmir players misbehaved and even manhandled the Gokulam CEO. The delay in arrival of the bus, he added, was due to the hartal called by the BJP.

“It was a mind game played by Gokulam,” Real Kashmir's general manager Shoukat Ahmed told Sportstar. “They didn't want us to train, and I am told they have done this to other visiting teams as well. The match commissioner is aware of the issue, too.”

100

Real Kashmir, which won the second division last year, is in its debut I-League season.   -  Nissar Ahmad

The match commissioner, however, was not available for comments.

As for the football, the match promises a lot, with Real Kashmir looking to extend its fine run in its maiden season in the league. It has arrived here, having won three home games on the trot, including a 6-1 drubbing of Shillong Lajong just three days ago.

The Kashmiri side is in third spot, with 13 points, just four behind leader Chennai City. Gokulam, with nine points, has slid to seventh after its 3-1 away loss to East Bengal.

100

With nine points from seven games, Gokulam Kerala sits seventh in the table.   -  K.Ragesh

“This is an important home match for us,” Gokulam coach Bino George said. “We have to get full points and get back into the top three.”

His counterpart David Robertson admitted the conditions were different from the winter back home. “Gokulam is a very good side,” he said. “And it wasn't great preparation for us, but we made the best out of it.”