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Real Kashmir return home to heroes' welcome

Basant Rath, the most popular policeman in Srinagar, is something of a superstar
Basant Rath, the most popular policeman in Srinagar, is something of a superstar

After a month-long, cross country trek through the rigours of the I-League second division group games, Real Kashmir FC returned home to Srinagar, to an unexpected welcome.

Undefeated and feted, the local crop of the first team from Kashmir to make it into the I-League first division discovered a cult hero waiting.

The most popular policeman in Srinagar, IG (Traffic) Basant Rath, was in the arrival lounge. Rath is something of a superstar amongst the local youth, for his unwavering zeal against...

Real Kashmir make history after booking I-League berth

Real Kashmir became the first team from Kashmir in the history of Indian football to enter the first division of the I-League
Real Kashmir became the first team from Kashmir in the history of Indian football to enter the first division of the I-League

On a night of torrential rain, hundreds of miles from home and for the first time in their history, a team from Jammu & Kashmir entered the first division of the I-League. At the FSV arena in Bengaluru, Real Kashmir FC, a club formed in the aftermath of the 2014 floods, beat Hindustan FC of Delhi 3-2 to win qualification into the highest rung of league football in India.

The teams went into half time with Kashmir 2-1 ahead, but as the skies opened overhead, the thunder crashed and lightning streaked...

AIFF finds Minerva Punjab owner 'guilty' of racial abuse

Kolkata -- I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC's owner Ranjit Bajaj has been banned for one year from all football activities and also fined Rs 10 lakh by the AIFF after the federation found him 'guilty' of making racist remarks against a referee.

The AIFF's Disclipinary Committee said this was the fourth offence committed by Bajaj within a span of year.

The latest incident happened during Minerva's Under-18 Youth League play-off match against Aizawl FC that ended in a 1-1 draw at JLN Stadium in...

The abandoned goldmine of Indian football

U-13 boys at a summer camp, the first project organised by the newly formed Guwahati City FC held the Guwahati University  stadium, Jalukbari. The camp was attended by 165 boys from the region, and also had a camper each from Bhutan and Chattisgarh.
Under-13 boys at a summer camp, the first project organised by the newly formed Guwahati City FC held the Guwahati University stadium, Jalukbari. The camp was attended by 165 boys from the region, and a camper each from Bhutan and Chattisgarh.

On Wednesday, April 5, an AFC Cup match will be held at the IGA Stadium in Guwahati, Assam. The home club is not Assamese but Aizawl FC. Other than geography, there is little that is out of the ordinary in Aizawl FC travelling nearly 500km out of Aizawl to Guwahati for a 'home' game. AFC criteria require matches be played on natural turf and maintaining a top-quality grass pitch in Mizoram is close to impossible.

The footballing incongruity lies close inside that new 'home': Assam, the region's...

Without context, the Super Cup sticks out like a sore thumb

 

The Super Cup, which starts on Saturday evening with the first of the round of 16 matches between newly crowned Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC and former I-League champions Aizawl FC, in Bhubaneswar, could have been a tournament for the ages, with better context and a more viable scheduling of fixtures.

Instead, 16 teams from the two leagues, held concurrently for the first time in 2017-18 will be heading to Odisha perhaps wondering why they are going to play through the...