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ISL behind closed doors

The Indian Super League final, scheduled for Saturday in Goa between Chennaiyin FC and ATK, will be held behind closed doors, after a sports ministry directive on Thursday.

Published: 13th March 2020 08:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2020 08:56 AM   |  A+A-

The ISL clash between NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC was to be played at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati

(Photo| Twitter/ @NEUtdFC)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Indian Super League final, scheduled for Saturday in Goa between Chennaiyin FC and ATK, will be held behind closed doors, after a sports ministry directive on Thursday. The directive, issued as preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak, asked the governments of various states and union territories to ensure that all sporting events were either cancelled or held behind closed doors. Soon after, Football Sports Development Limited, the league’s governing company, issued a statement saying that the final will be behind closed doors.

“Upcoming Hero Indian Super League 2019-20 Final on Saturday, March 14, 2020, between ATK FC and Chennaiyin FC, will now be played behind closed doors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda,” said the statement. “Football Sports Development Limited, owing to the current preventive measures against COVID-19, has decided to hold the season’s final behind closed doors. FSDL will soon initiate the process of ticket refunds...”

The same fate too looks likely to befall the I-League matches scheduled for the coming days. The All India Football Federation issued a statement saying that the league officials will hold a meeting with the various clubs over the fate of the remaining matches on Friday. “

The All India Football Federation will hold a Skype meeting with representatives from all Hero I-League clubs at 4 PM on Friday in view of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports concerning the recent global outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) today,” the statement said.League sources though revealed that the best case scenario was that the matches scheduled would be played out under closed doors. This looks the most likely outcome of Friday’s meeting as well, unless clubs push for a postponement. 

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