New I-League entrants Real Kashmir FC are likely to be ready to host matches at their picturesque TRC Ground in Srinagar by October 20, officials said.
The I-League top brass travelled to Srinagar on Wednesday to check if things are in order ahead of the state hosting top division matches for the first time.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) senior vice-president Subrata Dutta and CEO Sunando Dhar met the advisor to Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik among other top government officials.
“We had a very fruitful meeting with all authorities concerned. Work is going on at a rapid pace and it has exceeded our expectations. They have told us that all work related to the renovation of the TRC Ground will be completed between October 15-20. The deadline is October 25,” Dutta told IANS over phone from Srinagar on Thursday.
He added that there are plans to install floodlights in the near future and the government has allocated Rs 3.5 crore for that purpose.
During peak winter, Dutta said, a few games could be shifted to Jammu due to snowfall and for that the Jammu District Football Association is also getting ready.
“Between December 25 and January 25, a few I-League games may have to be shifted to Jammu as there will be snowfall here. For that, the Jammu District Football Association is also starting work. We have discussed that too,” he said.
The eleventh edition of the I-League will start in the last week of October.
In May, Real Kashmir became the first football club from the northern state to qualify for the country’s top tier I-League after they won the second division league by beating Delhi side Hindustan FC 3-2.
“The people of Kashmir are very excited to witness top division football for the first time. It will unite the people of the state and bring peace and harmony I believe. They love their football in the valley,” Dutta further said.
Real Kashmir will start their pre-season training from September 1 in Srinagar and are likely to travel to Mumbai and then Scotland at the later stages of their preparations.