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The I-League clubs from Goa can breathe a sigh of relief as the Nehru Cup would host the first two round of matches this season...

On the requests of the I-League clubs from Goa, the I-League and Goa Football Association (GFA) officials, Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) have acceded and shall now delay the renovation of the Nehru Stadium at Margao until the first rounds of I-League matches are done with.

With Vasco’s Tilak Maidan being revamped currently while an artificial turf is laid at the Duler Stadium at Mapusa, the I-League’s Goan clubs faced a major problem as to where to host their matches with Nehru stadium too in the line of being renovated for the Lusofonia Games to be held in November 2013.

The decision on where the third round of I-League matches for Goan clubs are to be played is yet to be taken given that Tilak Maidan will be in a position to host only from round four onward.

"We have not as yet taken a decision on the third round. We need to see how we can accommodate the Goan teams. Possibly, all of the Goan teams will have to play the third round away and then return home," Sunando Dhar, the I-League CEO, told The Times of India.

The SAG have asserted that Tilak Maidan would meet the required Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) requirements to host an AFC Cup match.

Dhar believes that the I-League matches shifting to Tilak Maidan would be a boon given that the chances of having a full capacity crowd go up.

“At Fatorda (Nehru Stadium), the spectators sit on the same (West) stand where the cameras are located. Most of the time, we saw that the other side is empty. Even a crowd of 10,000 at Fatorda gets lost. Hopefully, we will overcome that problem at the Tilak Maidan,” he explained.

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