Thursday, May 26, 2022
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No football activity in Kanteerava from now on, according to the Sports Minister

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Karnataka’s Minister of Youth Empowerment and Sports, K.C. Narayana Gowda, said on Thursday that the Sree Kanteerava Stadium will no longer be used for football.

No Activities at Kanteerava

“We have taken a decision not to allow football,” Gowda said at an event to highlight the recently installed running track, in answer to a query about whether such refurbishments genuinely assisted athletes while the stadium was being rented out for football and other activities.

The stadium is owned by the Karnataka government’s Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES). It now casts doubt on the venue’s ability to host Indian Super League matches, as the stadium served as Bengaluru FC’s home ground from 2014 to 2015. After two editions in a bio-bubble, the ISL has announced that the tournament would return to a home-and-away format in the 2022-23 season.

No Word from BFC

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BFC CEO Mandar Tamhane refused to comment as “he had no information on any of this.” JSW-owned BFC’s usage of the stadium has long been a source of concern, with track and field players led by the Karnataka Athletics Association (KAA) even filing a petition with the Karnataka High Court.

In 2019, an agreement to hold matches was signed at the eleventh hour after the court ruled, based on a government gazette notification from 2011, that renting out the stadium for sporting events was not prohibited.

A division bench, including the Chief Justice, had previously accepted the State’s assurance that if the stadium had to be rented out, a transparent process would be followed. The DYES had held the same position before Gowda’s announcement, but that could alter now.

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The KAA filed a further petition to the government in the last week of December, requesting that football not be allowed in 2022. In January, when the administration sought DYES’ view, the latter stated that no final judgment had been made.

Read: Bengaluru FC 2-1 Odisha FC: 3 talking points as BFC edge out a tight game

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