New Delhi:Under pressure from the clubs, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday decided not to shift the ongoing second division I-League matches from Gurgaon to Manesar.
On Wednesday, the AIFF told representatives of the six clubs that they would have to play the fourth and fifth round matches of the second division I-League at the Amity United ground in Manesar since the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon has to be readied for the April 16 I-League match between Air India and Sporting Clube de Goa.
The shifting of the venue mid-way into the tournament left club officials and coaches fuming but they decided to fall in line since they were afraid to face the AIFF's wrath.
However, an inspection of the Amity United ground this morning left them with no choice but to protest against the move.
"There's just a ground and nothing else. There's no dressing room, no stands and a strong wind makes it difficult to play," one club had said official after inspecting the ground.
"Moreover there's no hospital at close vicinity. If a player gets injured we don't know where he will be taken to," he added.
Some of them had already expressed resentment against the move and had planned to send a letter today before the federation changed its decision.
What might have helped the second division clubs was a letter from Air India, who objected to the shifting of their last round I-League match from Mumbai to Gurgaon.
The forthcoming general elections had forced the AIFF to move two matches in the last round of the I-League from Mumbai to Delhi and Gurgaon.
While Mohun Bagan were to face Mahindra United in Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium on April 16, Air India and Sporting Clube de Goa were supposed to meet in Gurgaon the same day.
"We sent a letter to the AIFF informing them that we want to play in Mumbai. WIFA (Western India Football Association) too is ready to host the match at the Cooperage and has sent a letter to this effect to the federation," said Air India coach Bimal Ghosh.
A decision on allowing that match stay in Mumbai is yet to be taken.