I-League in Kashmir: Unable to watch, many fans return dejected
Srinagar: Kashmir hosted its first football match post- August 5 with Real Kashmir Football Club defeating defending champions Chennai City in the I-League on Thursday but a large number of fans returning dejected not able to watch the game acted as a dampener.
Hundreds of RKFC fans turned up at the TRC astro turf stadium here in the hope of watching their favourite players in action but were disappointed on knowing that the entry to I-League fixtures was no more free of cost.
Although many fans were let in after they purchased Rs 50 tickets, the security apparatus then restricted the number of people going inside.
RKFC officials said more than 2000 fans watched the home team triumph over the defending champions by the odd goal in three.
It was also the first I-League match in Srinagar since the Pulwama suicide attack of February 14 as teams had refused to turn up here due to apprehensions about security.
The last home game of RKFC was on February 6 against Gokulam Kerala as Minerva Punjab refused to travel to Srinagar to play their match on February 18, four days after the Pulwama suicide car bomb attack on a CRPF convoy.
It was also the first major sporting event in Kashmir after the August 5 abrogation of Article 370 provisions but not many fans were expected to show up as the internet services are suspended in Kashmir and there was very little publicity given to the league fixture.
The large number of fans who turned up for the match gave a tough time to the security personnel who were deployed in large numbers to ensure that the game passed off smoothly.
Among those who watched the game was BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav who expressed happiness over RKFC’s victory.
“I am an RKFC fan and I am happy that they won. I hope they win the remaining matches as well and lift the trophy this year,” he said.
RKFC were scheduled to play their first home game of this season on December 12 but the match had to be postponed due to bad weather.