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Real Kashmir’s happy headache

Real Kashmir requests AIFF to prepone their match against Mohun Bagan by a day owing to crowd management issues
Real Kashmir play in front of a packed crowd
Real Kashmir play in front of a packed crowd
(Picture: @realkashmirfc)

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 27.12.19, 10:12 PM

Real Kashmir FC have requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to advance their January 5 I-League match against Mohun Bagan by a day. That’s because crowd management on Sunday next at the Tourist Recreation Centre ground in Srinagar could become a problem.

According to an informed source, the response to the Thursday’s match against Chennai City was overwhelming and the organisers are expecting a huge turnout in the match against Bagan.

“It’s a happy headache for Real Kashmir. They never expected so many fans to turn up to watch Thursday’s match. With Bagan being such a popular club in the Valley, more fans will be there. After all, Srinagar is hosting games after a long gap,” the source said.

“Now it’s up to AIFF and Bagan to decide. A clearer picture will emerge in the next two days,” the source added.

Another problem is the Sunday Bazaar, which takes place right next to stadium.

“Such a huge crowd will be difficult to manage. And the organisers also do not want to shift the Sunday Bazaar to a different place since that will not look nice,” the source said.

For Thursday’s match, which Real Kashmir won 2-1 against defending champions Chennai City, the organisers had decided to put 2000 tickets for sale.

“But more that 6000 fans turned up at the ground. And thousands went back home disappointed for not getting a chance to watch the match from the stands.”

Thursday’s match was the first sporting event in the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370.

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