The final decision in the matter is expected later this month.
The venue has been the home ground for the Blues since 2015. However, there was a protest back in 2017, as the track and field athletes who used to train there have faced trouble due to the JSW Group-owned outfit’s ground activities. The Karnataka High Court was soon called into action and they have ordered an inquiry during which the Blues were allowed to use the ground. The deadline of the inquiry falls in mid-October.
The owners of Bengaluru are hopeful of getting a favourable verdict that would help them stay at the Kanteerava. But, with the new season fast approaching, the deadline to register a venue might see them move out of the city.
“We will have to look at alternatives and a couple of them that are being mentioned are Pune and Ahmedabad,” Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane told Scroll.
“However, we cannot make any decisions until we know what is happening (with the Kanteerava Stadium). We want to stay here and we are hopeful. We are waiting for the official confirmation on the issue, as we cannot do much till we hear anything,” he added.
However, considering the club’s AFC Cup commitments and licensing criteria which they have to follow, Bengaluru FC currently have limited options. Therefore, the Blues may have to shift to Ahmedabad or Pune for the upcoming campaign.
“We have to play in the AFC Cup. So, keeping that in mind, the only two alternatives that are possible are Pune and Ahmedabad, as those are the only two stadiums that fulfil that criteria. Odisha was one, but since Delhi are moving there, that is no longer an option,” Tamhane continued.
The Blues are in a tough position with the deadline to register a stadium with the AFC being September 15. A change in January is also possible, but with the ISL season also starting in October, the club have very less time to get things rolling.
Tamhane who is working hard to resolve these issues feels that the club will be in a position to make a decision by September 21.
“We should have it sorted by then. Even if we need to move, we need the confirmation to do so, as we can’t do anything before we know what is happening,” he said.