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I-League: RKFC ready for today’s game, Minerva yet to reach Sgr

Srinagar: I-League team Real Kashmir FC Head Coach David Robertson along with team player Mason Robertson addressing a press conference ahead of their I-League match with Minerva Punjab FC, in Srinagar on Sunday, Feb 17, 2019. Defending champions Minerva Punjab FC forfeited their I-League match against Real Kashmir FC,which was scheduled tomorrow in Srinagar after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) turned down their request to relocate the fixture in the aftermath of the Pulwama Suicide car bomb attack in which 42 CRPF Jawans were killed and dozens others injured. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Feb 17: Real Kashmir FC is ready to play its scheduled match against Minerva Punjab in the ongoing I-League, though the visitors have not arrived in Srinagar yet and are seeking shifting of the venue to some other place.
RKFC, which retained its position among top performing teams in the League with 32 points in last 16 matches, is scheduled to face Minerva Punjab FC on Monday.
The snow leopards will be playing its second match against Minerva Punjab, which were earlier defeated by the debutants on October 31.
RKFC will be eyeing to get three points out of the game to be on the top of the table by surpassing toppers and contenders Chennai city FC and East Bengal FC.
The hosts had eked out an impressive solitary goal victory in the previous match against Gokulam Kerala FC, which was played amid snow and cold weather in Kashmir.
RKFC head coach, David Robertson said his team has prepared itself for the crucial game against Minerva Punjab FC.
“We have trained for a week now and are now looking forward for tomorrow’s game with positive mindset. Everyone in the squad is fit for the game,” he said.
Asked whether he was looking forward to clinch the title, Robertson said his team’s achievement so far has been a big surprise for him.
“Every game is crucial and we don’t get carried away. There is a long way. We still have four games left. The season so far has been fantastic for us,” he said.
The visitors, however, had not arrived in Srinagar till Sunday evening. The team is seeking change in the venue of the match to some neutral venue in backdrop of the Lethpora attack last Thursday.
This is despite the assurances by I-League officials and local security authorities for their protection of the visitors during their stay in Kashmir.
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar earlier told the PTI that local security authorities in Srinagar have given the go ahead to hold the match at the TRC Ground.
“Our officials are already in Srinagar in preparation of the match. I have spoken to the match commissioner and he told me that the situation in Srinagar is currently normal. The local security in-charge of the match has also assured full security to the players, officials and all those related to the match,” Dhar told PTI on Saturday.
Minerva Punjab FC on Sunday tweeted, “Contrary to media report, Minerva Punjab has not forfeited the match against Real Kashmir tomorrow, Minerva Punjab FC is ready to play the match at any safe venue.”