Indo Asian News Service
I-League side Real Kashmir FCs co-owner Sandeep Chattoo wants to see the team play in the Indian Super League (ISL) in five years’ time ideally, but with the current situation forcing all plans to stay put, the management has no option but to wait until the skies clear up. India is under a 21-day lockdown period till April 14 to fight against the coronavirus pandemic which has wreaked havoc across the globe. All activities, including football in the country, has been stopped.
While the I-League saw Mohun Bagan clinch the title with four rounds to go, Real Kashmir remained in fourth position with 22 points after playing 15 matches. “To be honest in five years’ from now, we would like to see ourselves in ISL. But as of now, since we are in a very confused and uncertain state of affairs, the plan still remain the same,” Chattoo said in an interview from Srinagar.
“We see ourselves trying to do the best in the next season of I-League and subsequently we will try to put in all efforts so that we are part of the ISL.
“But then as of today, it is difficult to say anything. We are all in a confused state of mind. This is something nobody ever imagined that the entire world will be in lockdown due to the coronavirus,” he added.
“Like any other club, we would also like to play in the ISL in the near future. We had lot of plans in place and because of all the happenings and lockdown we will have to wait and watch and see how things progress and then we can go ahead,” he further said.
Real Kashmir got promoted from the second division, made their debut in I-League two years ago, and finished a credible third on debut.
The road was not easy for the Srinagar-based side as they had to deal with the Pulwama attack, the abrogation of Article 370 and the Kashmir lockdown during their first two seasons in the top flight. Real Kashmir are now dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but Chattoo said the situation in the valley is under control and just like any other state in India.
“The situation here is as bad as anywhere else. It is no different to any other part of India. All agencies and medical team are trying to make sure people who are tested positive are quarantined. Security is also doing a good job in ensuring lockdown is enforced at all possible times,” he said.
The club, he said, has been in close contact with the coaches. Scottish head coach David Robertson is stranded in a Srinagar hotel on account of the ongoing lockdown.
“Real Kashmir has done its bit. It has worked very hard. We are saddened by the developments but this is a world phenomenon. It is beyond our control. All our plans are on hold at the moment as of now.
“But nevertheless we have not stopped thinking about the next season and we on daily basis are trying to kind of have an interaction with the coaches, me and see what we can plan for the next season,” Chattoo concluded.
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