Kochi's Nehru Stadium to host ISL final

Kochi's bid for the final could have also been aided by the fact that most stadiums under contention are going through renovations for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, as per the recommendations of the panel set up by FIFA.

With home team Kerala Blasters hosting NorthEast United in a playoff-decider on Sunday, the news will come as music to the 'Yellow Army', whose incredible support has often been likened to Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund's fans.   -  H. Vibhu

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, the home ground of Kerala Blasters, has been officially selected to host to Indian Super League 2016 final. The final will be held in Kochi on December 18.

“We felt that awarding the prestigious ISL final to Kochi would be an apt ode to the State’s contribution to Indian football,” said Nita Ambani, the Chairperson of the Football Sports Development Limited, the promoter of the Indian Super League, while announcing the news on Friday.

“Kerala has been the bedrock of Indian football. It is one of the few States in the country where interest in football is unparalleled. I have always been intrigued by the pride and passion of the football fans in Kerala.”

BIGGEST ISL CROWD

Kochi has thrown up the biggest crowds for the ISL this season, with the numbers for Kerala Blasters’ home games often touching 55,000 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

The Nehru Stadium had been booked for the final a few days ago and many hotel rooms had also been blocked for the event.

With the Kerala Blasters also in good shape to reach the semifinal – the last berth will be confirmed after the Kochi team’s last league game against NorthEast United FC here on December 4 – the Nehru Stadium is likely to record new attendance figures for the next few games here.

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