ISL: ATK-Goa match delayed due to flight issues

Amidst high drama, with the match timing being pushed back four times, the unprecedented situation, owing to a flight issue, left the spectators utterly disappointed.

Several of the fans, who had thronged the stadium with a lot of enthusiasm to witness ATK in action in its first match of the year, left the venue after learning that the match would start at 9:30 p.m.   -  ISL Sportzpics

The Indian Super League (ISL) faced an embarrassing situation on Wednesday as the match between ATK and FC Goa could not start at the schedule time, 8 p.m., due to unavoidable circumstances.

Amidst high drama, with the match timing being pushed back four times, the unprecedented situation, owing to a flight issue, left the spectators utterly disappointed.

It was a major loss of face for the football league.

The organisers sent a mail to the accredited media persons notifying about the delay at about 5 p.m.

“Hero Indian Super League’s home match of ATK will be delayed by an hour today, (3rd January, 2018) due to unavoidable circumstances,” Football Sports Development Limited, the competition organisers, said in a statement.

“Match number 37 was to kick-off at 8:00 pm (IST) but now has been pushed by an hour considering the expected late arrival of FC Goa to Kolkata."

According to sources, the Goa team was scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday evening. The chartered flight, which took off from Goa, had to return due to a technical snag.

Even as the organisers made hectic efforts to find another chartered plane, the Navy Fighter Jet crash in Goa made matters worse by forcing the closure of the Dabolim airport on Wednesday afternoon.

After the re-opening of the airport, the Goa team boarded another plane at 6.30 p.m. and landed here around 9 p.m. The whole team straight away reached the venue, the Salt Lake Stadium, at about 9:50 p.m.

Only some of the players did warm-up wearing normal shoes and without equipment, including the balls, apparently because of the late arrival of the kit.

On the other hand, the ATK players had a full fledged warm-up session even as the start got further delayed.

Several of the fans, who had thronged the stadium with a lot of enthusiasm to witness ATK in action in its first match of the year, left the venue after learning that the match would start at 9:30 p.m.

Despite the delay, a few thousand spectators stayed back patiently for close to three hours to witness the late night contest, starting at 10:45 p.m.

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