Indian Super League's Atletico de Kolkata will not be playing the third edition of the football competition at the famed Salt Lake Stadium or Yuva Bharati Krirangan in the City of Joy. Instead, the matches will now be held at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in South Kolkata.
Salt Lake Stadium, the largest stadium in India by capacity, has been shortlisted as one of the venues for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. It will now be renovated to meet FIFA guidelines.
The stadium is also not hosting any of the Calcutta Football League matches.
Atletico de Kolkata will play their first match at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on October 2 against defending champions Chennaiyin FC. According to Goal, ISL authorities had also met West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas to discuss the issue. It was there that Biswas said that the government would not be able to offer the ground for the ISL matches.
"The representatives from FIFA will visit the stadium in October. It's impossible to let them use the stadium before it," Biswas was quoted as saying. "I understand that the attraction of ISL is huge among football lovers, but we must also understand that this venue is a matter of pride for us and we must prioritise the Under-17 World Cup," he added.
It is reported that the West Bengal government would spend over Rs 60 crore on renovating the Salt Lake Stadium. Venues from Goa, Kochi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi have been provisionally selected by FIFA to host the U-17 FIFA World Cup next year.