The games are to be shifted owing to ongoing renovation work at the Salt Lake Stadium…
Mohun Bagan Groud is set to host the home matches of Atletico de Kolkata in the upcoming third edition of the Indian Super League. The games are to be shifted from the city’s iconic Salt Lake Stadium which is undergoing a facelift ahead of next year’s Under-17 FIFA World Cup which India is set to host.
ISL officials visited the venue earlier and have earmarked it as an alternative to ATK’s original home. An official announcement is expected in the upcoming week.
ISL chiefs also met with West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas who conveyed to them that the venue would be unavailable for the annual event, “There’s a FIFA inspection coming up in November. The state government doesn’t want the ongoing renovation work to be hampered in any way,” Biswas reportedly told the officials.
Newly Built Press Box and Stands in Mohun Bagan ground ( Pictures Courtesy – Ajay Majumder
The facility’s revamp includes the completion of its turf as well as the installation of bucket seats on the middle and top tiers amongst other things. If the venue doesn’t pass the upcoming inspection it could lose the right to host key games at next year’s extravaganza.
Earlier the All India Football Federation had tossed the ball back into the state government’s court by stating that they had no issues if the authorities were willing to sanction the use of the Salt Lake Stadium for the event.
An air conditioned media box and floodlights have satisfied the ISL officials but the players’ dressing room, referees’ room, medical are not up to scratch. “It’s not that Mohun Bagan ground is suitable for hosting ISL matches. A lot of work needs to be done, but its prime location will certainly help in attracting the spectators,” a source said.
Meanwhile, Portugal’s Helder Postiga is set to remain the club’s marquee player after talks to sign former Uruuguay international Diego Forlan failed.
Khel Now also understands that ATK and the Mariners are locked in back channel negotiations that could see the clubs merge to field a common team in the proposed revamp of the I-League.
Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. A sports buff, he’s also a foreign policy enthusiast and keen North Korea watcher. Mrunal loves gaming, reading, traveling and is a self-confessed Football Manager addict. You can follow him on Twitter.