Just days before the opening of the 2017/18 Indian Super League season begins with a match between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata, fans have discovered the stadium capacity has been reduced to 41,000.
At the start of the month Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) confirmed the venue for the fourth edition had been moved from Kolkata to Kochi and wouldl be staged at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The Blasters fans are famous worldwide for the support of their team, with an average of 50,000 attending their matches at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Kochi. But with days to go before the season commences, fans were informed there would be only 41,000 spectators permitted.
Out of the 41,000 tickets available, only 39,000 were open for sales, the rest being given as complimentary tickets and means there will be plenty of fans left without tickets for all the home games of Kerala Blasters.
And now only VIP tickets prices at Rs 3500/- are available to be bought for the game on the 17th November as all others are sold out, leaving fans frustrated, with some choosing to protest outside the stadium office in Kochi.
The capacity was reduced due to security reasons and installation of new seats and for the same reason for the recently ended FIFA U17 World Cup, the seating capacity was only 29,000. For the ISL however, the seating capacity has been raised, although it is still below what was expected.
Meanwhile Delhi Dynamos’ coach Miguel Angel has spoke of his hope for the Indian Super League to expand to nine months.
“Now the league is better. More team which means it will be more competitive. It’s growing every year which is good for the country. I hope next season the duration of the league increases to nine months,” he said.