The Indian Super League (ISL) match between NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC will be held as per schedule on Wednesday in Guwahati with normalcy slowly returning to the Assam capital following days of unrest owing to the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Keeping the safety of fans, players and staff in mind, the league authorities have decided that the match be played behind closed doors. "The decision has been taken by Football Sports Development Limited after due consultation and guidance from the city authorities," the ISL said in a statement.
Explaining the rationale behind their decision, the ISL said, "The League holds safety of fans, players and staff of paramount importance, which has led to this decision".
Sporting activities took a hit in Guwahati last week after an ISL game and a Ranji Trophy cricket match were suspended on October 12 because of curfew.
NorthEast United's last home match against Chennaiyin FC in Guwahati was postponed after the host city was placed under a curfew following protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
But as per team sources, Tuesday's match is very much on course. "As of now the match is on, our players are travelling to Guwahati by tomorrow morning flight from Bangalore," a BFC official told PTI.
Guwahati had plunged into chaos last week with early protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, forcing the authorities to place the state under curfew on December 11 night.
Assam, the gateway to the northeast, is calm now with curfew relaxed and people going about their lives normally. However, peaceful protests are continuing in Guwahati and other places.
(With PTI inputs)