Due to the rising protests in the north east over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the organisers of the Indian Super League (ISL) – FSDL – have decided that the NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC match will be played here as per schedule on Wednesday, but in front of empty stands. Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the operator of the league, made the announcement in a statement released on Monday.
“The Hero Indian Super League Match 40 at Guwahati between NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC, scheduled on Wednesday, will now be played behind closed doors,” the statement read.
“The decision has been taken by Football Sports Development Limited after due consultation and guidance from the city authorities,” it added.
Sporting activities in Guwahati have taken a hit due to the unrest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). NorthEast United were supposed to play Chennaiyin FC in the city on December 12 which was postponed, as was a Ranji Trophy cricket match because of the curfew imposed there.
There was doubts over this game as well, but team officials confirmed that preparations for the match have been going as per plan. “As of now the match is on, our players are traveling to Guwahati by tomorrow morning flight from Bangalore,” a Bengaluru FC official told PTI.
NorthEast United coach Robert Jarni is set to host his pre-match press conference at 12:30 IST on Tuesday, the ISL have confirmed.
Guwahati had plunged into chaos last week with early protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, forcing the authorities to place the state under curfew on December 11 night. Assam, the gateway to the northeast, is calm now with curfew relaxed and people going about their lives normally. However, peaceful protests are continuing in Guwahati and other places.