"Play To Heal Not Hate": Real Kashmir React To Minerva Punjab's Absence From I-League Match In Srinagar
The I-League fixture between Real Kashmir and Minerva Punjab was scheduled to be held in Srinagar on Monday.
Real Kashmir FC were scheduled to host Minerva Punjab in a I-League fixture on Monday in Srinagar but the defending champions did not turn up for the match after not getting written security assurance to travel from the AIFF following the Pulwama attack. The I-League debutants, who have made a fairy tale start to the league, took to Twitter and expressed their disappointment, saying it is a matter of shame and the teams should "play to heal, not hate".
Real Kashmir also shared a video which showed the playing conditions in and around the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar. The club also said it was a sad day for football.
Sad day for football. We play to heal not spread hate. Normal day in Sgr but @minervapunjabfc did not turn up.This ain't football.All teams felt safe and enjoyed in Sgr ask @Mohun_Bagan @NerocaFC @AizawlFC @Churchill_Goa @lajongfc @ChennaiCityFC @GokulamKeralaFC @ILeagueOfficial pic.twitter.com/DrvBtMa9pM— Real Kashmir FC (@realkashmirfc) February 18, 2019
Whole of Kashmir was waiting for today's game against @minervapunjabfc. What a shame they did not turn up. Everything was in place.Earlier we even agreed to change the date from 17 to 18 Feb considering their @TheAFCCL travel issues. Video shows situation. Play to heal not hate. pic.twitter.com/K7UQBM1tHB— Real Kashmir FC (@realkashmirfc) February 18, 2019
Meanwhile, Minerva have decided to take the legal route if the AIFF decides to give full points for the match to Real Kashmir, East Bengal officials are also mulling to go the same route.
"If three points are given to Real Kashmir for the match despite failing to provide security assurance, then we will appeal the decision and consider moving court for relief," Minerva Punjab had said in a club statement.
East Bengal are scheduled to face Real Kashmir on February 28 in Srinagar.
Debabrata Sarkar, an influential East Bengal club official, said: "When the state is facing so many problems and there is curfew, we do not understand why AIFF is so adamant about holding the match in Srinagar.
"I don't know what Minerva is going to do, but we may also think of going to court if the venue or date of the match is not changed."
It is learnt that East Bengal have also appealed to the state federation and sought help of the state's Sports Minister in this regard.
As East Bengal and Real Kashmir are both title contenders, it will be interesting to see what step the AIFF takes regarding the match.
(With IANS inputs)