Kanteerava to stay Bengaluru FC’s home ground

ISL champions Bengaluru FC has got the nod from the high court to play their home matches at the Sree Kanteerava stadium. DH PHOTO/BH SHIVAKUMAR

After a prolonged saga, Bengaluru FC confirmed on Thursday that they will continue to play their home games of the forthcoming Indian Super League at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Following the dispute and charges filed by the athletics fraternity of the State against using the stadium by the ISL champions for their home matches, it had looked at one point that the club would be forced to play their home games at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune. The BFC officials had even registered the venue as an option.

Petition

However, the ice started to thaw over the past week when it was revealed that the Karnataka high court had ordered the stadium be given to host matches following a petition filed by the JSW.

“The court has directed BFC to play at the Sree Kanteerava stadium. The BFC will play under a policy formed by the DYES. It will be on a rental basis,” a DYES official told DH.

“The processes has been followed. We are just thankful to everyone, the government, DYES, the Karnataka Athletics Association and the other sports bodies there who have all helped us,” said BFC CEO Mandar Tamhane adding that the booking of the venue is all done as per the process set by the DYES.

The lack of transparency was one of the contentions raised by the athletes and coaches against the club.

“For us as BFC, it’s important to play in Bengaluru from a fan perspective, connect to the city and the State. It was important that we try our best to ensure that we address all the relevant stakeholders appropriately and ensure we are all on the same page,” Tamhane added.

However, the club now has a challenge on their hands to get the pitch ready for their first game against NorthEast United FC on October 21.

“That is a challenge and we have to ensure that the pitch is in a condition that is good enough to play. We hope that it will be but it’s a challenge, one that we have to address by doing whatever best we can,” Tamhane said adding that there was no concern over the logistics from the (ISL) organisers and that they’ve been supportive all this while.

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