Bhutia says I-league matches should be held after sunset

Kolkata: Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia on Wednesday suggested that the I-League matches should be held after sunset as it improves the "quality" of the game.

"If the matches are held in the night, the quality of the game imrpoves. Also, there is more excitement among the people if the matches are held in the night," he said when asked to comment on the blackout at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan during Sunday`s Mohun Bagan-East Bengal derby.

"Sports Minister (Madan) Mitra has told me that he is looking into the matter. I hope he will look into it with due importance," Bhutia said.

The All India Football Federation yesterday rescheduled the matches at YBK to 2 pm following an appeal from the West Bengal government in the aftermath of the blackout that interrupted the game for 18 minutes.

"I`ve requested to shift the I-League matches to afternoon until we make the electricity arrangments foolproof in YBK," Mitra had said, adding that the entire wiring needed to be changed, which would cost a few crore.

It may be mentioned that the state government-owned stadium had plunged into darkness after the September 2 Argentina vs Venezuela FIFA international friendly when the latter`s coach Cesar Farias was addressing the media.

The coach walked out of the media conference after the blackout, a common sight with about dozens of similar incidents in the past at the jinxed stadium.

The stadium is notorious for its history of powercuts as India`s world qualifer agaiinst Japan in 2004 was plagued by load shedding.


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