Bengaluru FC Next to Move City? Stadium Troubles May Force Club to Seek Refuge Elsewhere
If the Karnataka High Court ruling over Kanteerava stadium is not in Bengaluru FC's favour, they may be forced to move base.
File photo of Bengaluru FC's fans at the Kanteerava Stadium. (Photo Credit: @WestBlockBlues)
Bengaluru FC's connect with the Kanteerava Stadium is under threat as the club may be forced to move out to either Pune or Ahmedabad for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season and AFC competition.
Bengaluru FC, who have been playing at the Kanteerava since 2015, may not be allowed to use the stadium if the matter is not resolved at the Karnataka High Court. In 2017, a number of athletes who train at Kanteerava had alleged that the club's footballing activities hamper with their training. Current the process is under inquiry through which Bengaluru FC were allowed to use the stadium. However, the deadline gets over on October 14.
"We will have to look at alternatives and a couple of them that are being mentioned are Pune and Ahmedabad," Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane told Scroll.in.
"However, we cannot make any decisions until we know what is happening (with the Kanteerava stadium). We want to stay here and we are hopeful. We are waiting for the official confirmation on the issue as we cannot do much till we hear anything," he added.
Bengaluru FC share a tight contact with their fans and they call the stadium their fortress. But they can be forced to move out because of the deadline of stadium registration for the upcoming tournaments.
In such a short span of time, Bengaluru FC do not have too many options as they will have to move to a stadium that fulfills the AFC licensing criteria as well.
"We have to play in the AFC Cup. So keeping that in mind, the only two alternatives that are possible are Pune and Ahmedabad as those are the only two stadiums that fulfill that criteria. Odisha was one but since Delhi are moving there, that is no longer an option," Tamhane said.
Bengaluru FC have until September 15 to register a home stadium with AFC. They will however have the option to change the same by January. On the other hand, the ISL is set to begin in October due to which the club has only a week to register a stadium and prepare the pitch.
Tamhane said that they will be in a position to make their final decision by September 21.
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