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I-League 2018-19: AIFF Executive Committee to take final call on Minerva Punjab-Real Kashmir dispute

18:02 GMT+4 25/02/2019
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League Committee refrains from taking final decision...

The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) League Committee convened on Monday at the AIFF headquarters in Dwarka for the hearing of the representatives from both Real Kashmir FC and Minerva Punjab FC over the latter's absence for the I-League fixture in Srinagar on February 18.

But the Committee chaired by Subrata Dutta, Senior Vice President, AIFF could not arrive at a decision and has referred the matter to Executive Committee for further deliberation. 

Real Kashmir informed in writing that in view of the current uncertainty prevailing in Kashmir due to Article 35A, they want to play their forthcoming match against  East Bengal on February 28, in a neutral venue like New Delhi. Accordingly, the Committee decided to shift the match to Delhi, as reported earlier by Goal. 

But the Srinagar based club also reiterated that this uncertainty was not prevalent in Srinagar for the period from February 16-19, just days after the terrorist attack in Pulwama. 

Minerva Punjab argued that even after 10 days, the condition in the valley remains volatile and therefore keeping in mind the safety of their players, they chose not to turn up for the match. They also classified the case as Force Majeure before the committee while defending their action. 

Furthermore, it was also decided that the qualifiers for Super Cup will be played in Bhubaneswar from March 15-16, 2019, while the final round of the tournament will be played from March 29 to April 13, 2019. The exact dates of the matches for the final round of the tournament will be announced once the schedule of the AFC Cup is finalised.