SRINAGAR It is a great feeling for us that we are the first team from our state to play in the I-League. Many young boys and girls are playing football nowadays and we feel happy seeing that, Danish Farooq, the 22-year-old whos penalty helped the team achieve qualification, was quoted by News 18 as saying at an event in Delhi recently.
It will definitely be difficult to be one of the title contenders for the season, but I believe with a bit of luck we can finish hopefully in the top half, Danish said.
Initially, there were apprehensions that Real Kashmir would not be able to play their home games at their favoured Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) ground, but after multiple inspections following the upgradation of facilities, the stadium will play host to its first I-League game on November 6th.
The teams coach and players were relieved that they will play their home game in Srinagar and an elated club co-owner Shamim Meraj said, We have things in place (to host I-League games). The capacity of the ground is 10,000 but we will have to cap it to around 6,000 to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The premier football league of the country that kicks off on Friday (October 26), will see 11 teams battling it out for the top honours over a period of six months. This season, fans will witness for the first time, top-flight football entering the valley state of Jammu & Kashmir with Real Kashmir FC making its much-awaited debut. Real Kashmir FC was recently promoted to the Hero I-league after a stupendous run and title win in the second division league last season. The I-League, the country’s premier football league boasts of a larger presence this year with teams representing all parts of the country viz; North, South, East & West.
The 12th edition will also be rewarding for the players with significant prize money at stake for the top teams – Winners (Rs 1 Crore), Runners Up (Rs 60 Lakh), Third Place (Rs 40 Lakhs) and Fourth Place (Rs 25 Lakhs). “We are very happy to welcome Real Kashmir FC to the league. The pan Indian presence of the League has been its unique feature in the last few editions. Furthermore, with the valley state entering top-flight football this season, the Hero I-League yet again stands true testimony to how it has played a critical role in spreading the game to all corners of the country,” said Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF).
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