ISL 2019-20: Bengaluru FC fans call for stadium issue to be resolved amicably

Carles Cuadrat Bengaluru FC
The ISL 2019-20 champions could be forced to move out of their home at Kanteerava due to illegal occupancy post the lease period ...

Bengaluru FC could be forced to relocate from their famous home turf – the Sree Kanteerava Stadium – ahead of the 2019/20 Indian Super League (ISL).

The Karnataka High Court has ordered the government to carry out a probe and take action against the officials responsible for allowing the ISL champions to use the ground after the lease period ended.

Also, Goal has reliably learnt that Bengaluru have been in conversation with two other venues.

This means that Bengaluru might be devoid of mainstream football action this season.

As expected, the fans of the club are disappointed and hoping that the parties involved cooperate with each other and emerge with an amicable solution ahead of the title-defending season.

Chirag S, a regular at the Kanteerava Stadium believes that Bengaluru has been a major hub for the growing exposure the sport is experiencing, and the progress could be hampered if Bengaluru FC are forced to shift their base.

“The presence of Bengaluru FC has facilitated better exposure for the sport in Bengaluru and the change in home ground could hamper the progress. An understanding can be worked out between the parties involved such that both can function in a mutually beneficial manner and work towards growing together,” he explained.

His thoughts were echoed by several other regulars including Athrish BN, who has been a familiar face in the stands since the first season.

Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United

“Sree Kanteerava Stadium, a historic and famous landmark in the city has played a major role in helping Bengaluru FC gain popularity and acceptance by the people.

“The attendance has risen from four digits to five in recent times and shifting base will be detrimental to the progress of the sport. We can only hope that this issue is resolved and we can support our team in our own city,” he said.

Although there are instances of fans viewing the situation as an inevitable and admitting that the law needs to be respected.

“If Bengaluru FC did flout the rules of the lease, then they shouldn’t be allowed to use the stadium. It should be used only by the athletic associations for their events,” Suhas Pai, a software engineer and a fan of the club since inception said.

“As for using a stadium in Bengaluru for football, the Bangalore Football Stadium (BFS) – which is used by the players for training – could have been used. But there has been no progress in the renovation of the same ever since the team shifted to the Kanteerva Stadium as a stop gap solution. 

“The Kanteerava makes for a great stadium to host football games but it was built for athletics and this problem was bound to arise. I hope that the lack of a proper football stadium in the city wakes up the right people and incentivises them to take the renovation of the BFS more seriously so that the stadium can be used in the near future.”