East Bengal-Real Kashmir Game Shifted To Delhi From Srinagar

NEW DELHI — East Bengal's I-League game against fellow title aspirants Real Kashmir FC was on Monday shifted to New Delhi from Srinagar due to security reasons in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) sources said.

"The match will take place on February 28, but in New Delhi due to security issues," said a source.

The matter was discussed at the League committee meeting in New Delhi.

"We have not heard from the AIFF yet. We will make necessary arrangements once we get an official word," said East Bengal CEO Sanjit Sen.

East Bengal were originally scheduled to take on Real Kashmir on February 10, but saw their match postponed to February 28 due to snowfall in the Valley.

But after the February 14 Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed, there were doubts whether the match would take place in Srinagar with I-League defending champions Minerva Punjab FC not playing their game in the region despite AIFF's security assurances.

Minerva had approached the high court challenging AIFF's refusal to postpone the February 18 match.

East Bengal had requested the AIFF to shift the match to a later date until normalcy is restored in the valley, but the governing body stuck to their guns saying local authorities had assured of all safety to the teams.

But on Sunday, security forces asked the AIFF to postpone a second division I-League match in Srinagar saying it was "too risky" to play football.

Lonestar Kashmir were slated to take on ARA FC at the TRC Football Ground, home to Real Kashmir also, on Sunday.

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