West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of the Indian Super League (ISL) matches being moved out of the city this season.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function to felicitate him and his deputy Laxmi Ratan Shukla at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Biswas said the Yuva Bharati Krirangana at Salt Lake, which was being prepared for the under-17 World Cup next year, needed FIFA clearance to be used as an ISL venue.
“The FIFA deadline (to complete renovation of the stadium) is October but we are targeting to end it by September. Since the ISL is starting in October, it depends on whether the FIFA guidelines allow the stadium to be used for any other tournament prior to the under-17 World Cup. In case it is not permitted then the ISL matches have to shifted,” said Biswas, who inspected the stadium earlier in the day and promised to employ more workforce in order to complete the renovation before time.
In such a scenario, the Kolkata franchise, Atletico de Kolkata, will have to look for a new venue. The stadium at Siliguri seems to be the only alternative venue available within the State.
Biswas said the State government would also upgrade and modernise some other stadia in the city.
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