India’s national football league, the I-league, has been shifted out of Srinagar keeping in mind the safety of athletes and fans. Real Kashmir FC, the first club from the state to play at the highest level in Indian football, will play their last home game, against East Bengal, at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on February 28.
The club’s rise to the I-League was widely covered as among the most positive stories from the region last year. Real Kashmir have played eight games at the TRC Stadium in Srinagar this season with several thousand fans turning up to support the local club. In light of the situation in Kashmir, however, the games in Srinagar have either been cancelled or shifted to alternative venues. Both clubs are still in with a shot of winning the league (East Bengal is second and Kashmir third with Chennai City FC the table toppers at the moment).