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Minerva granted permission to use Kalinga Stadium for one AFC Cup match, not shutting shop for now

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

FC Thursday heaved a sigh of relief after the granted them permission to use Bhubaneswar's for their AFC Cup home match on May 1, and said they are "not shutting shop" for now.

Minerva had earlier alleged that on the All India Football Federation's insistence, the had withdrawn permission to use the stadium against for the Group E match.

Club owner Ranjit had requested to look into the matter.

On Thursday, said the has informed him that his club can use the for the May 1 match only. He will have to look for venues for the other two home matches on June 19 and 26.

"I have been informed through phone that I can use the for the May 1 match. I am very happy and I want to profusely thank Odisha CM ji and Secretary and Director for giving the permission," told

"We have two more matches on June 19 and 26. For these matches, we will not be able to use Kalinga Stadium so I have to find stadium for the two matches. I have more than two months and I hope to get the venues in this time," he added.

He said he has some venues in mind for these two matches -- Guwahati and Fatorda in

"The stadiums will have to be AFC approved. So, I will approach Guwahati, and others also. The fee for using the stadium will be a factor," he said.

Minerva's other two home games will be against Chennaiyin FC (June 19) and of (June 26).

Asked about his earlier threat to shut down the club, he said, "I had said it in the aftermath of the non-availability of the venue of May 1 match. If I don't have a stadium to host the (May 1) match, my club would have been banned by the AFC for a period of three to five years.

"Then, a fine of USD 50,000 would have been imposed on us per match. That would have meant USD 3 lakh for the six group matches and 3-0 result against us in all these matches. So, what would I suppose to do if I have to pay this hefty fine and a then a ban of at least three years?" he asked.

"I would not have any other way except shutting shop. But now, things have changed and as of now I can focus on the performance of the team for May 1 match.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 17:25 IST