Being one of the largest capacity stadiums in the world, the Salt Lake Stadium is in subject of a conundrum facing the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as the ground will be unavailable to host I-League matches. The stadium will play host to the opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on April 2, 2013. The venue will be booked for use from March 20 in preparation for the event which throws the I-League schedule off its hinges.
Kolkata’s Eden Gardens cricket ground is not being used for the ceremony with a view to protect it from damage before the inaugural match on April 3, 2013.
The I-League was due to return to action at Kolkata on March 20 after a break.
“We are yet to receive any communication from the concerned people. We are hopeful that the I-League matches will be held as per schedule,” said Kushal Das, General Secretary of the AIFF told DNA-India.
“Why should entertainment take over sports, that too football in the Mecca of Indian football? We only pray that the concerned people consider and allow us to conduct the I-League matches,” added Das.
The non-availability of the Salt Lake Stadium from March 20 is likely to affect six I-League matches. However the ground, which is the property of the state government, will take a final call on the matter.
Madan Mitra, Sports Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal had mentioned that he was not aware of any request for use of the Salt Lake Stadium for the IPL ceremony.
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