Quess East Bengal FC have once again appealed to All India Football Federation for the postponement of their I-League match on February 28 against Real Kashmir. The Red and Gold brigade had their initial match date with The Kashmiri club on 10th February. Harsh weather conditions forced East Bengal to pull out of their fixtures. But following the Pulwama attack in Kashmir, East Bengal had raised concern about travelling due to security reasons. Minerva Punjab who were to play on February 18 pulled out of their fixture and did not play.
Earlier, East Bengal CEO Sanjit Sen had sent an email to AIFF asking about the safety and security concerns of the players in Srinagar and additional steps that the parent body is going to take for the travelling side. AIFF reverted back that the match will go on as scheduled on 28th February at the same venue. Punjab side and defending champions Minerva Punjab have already filed a petition in The Delhi High Court on the inefficiency of AIFF to either move the match to some other venue or postpone it the hearing of which is scheduled on Friday.
East Bengal coach, Alejandro Menendez expressed his concern over his players’ security, “I’m very worried about what has happened in Kashmir. A game of football cannot be bigger than life. It’s a very serious situation at Kashmir and the authorities should think about It.” said The Former Real Madrid youth academy coach.
Other than the security of Indian players, the Red and Gold army also has to think about the security of Coach, Alejandro Menendez along with his two staffs and three other players from Spain, a player each from Mexico and Costa Rica and Senegalese Born Frenchman, Kassim Aidara. “Although there has been no advisory from the foreign players respective governments on the situation in Kashmir, their safety will always our priority.”, said East Bengal senior official Debabrata Sarkar. He went on to question the logic behind holding a match in ‘curfew’ situations.
Although, East Bengal have clearly mentioned that they won’t take a legal route against the parent body unlike champions, Minerva Punjab. “We will not be taking a legal action but if they force us to go we will go.” CEO, Sanjit Sen has already e-mailed I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar for the postponement of the match. Sources from inside the club confirm that East Bengal are angered on the fact that a match between two of the title contenders of I-League this year is contested at such a high tension place where there is a high risk of life after the recent string of events.