ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC to Play Last Two Home Games Behind Close Doors After Fire Incident

Indian Super League side Punjab FC will play its last two games at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium behind closed doors due to “unforeseen circumstances”, the club announced in a statement on Thursday.

The club stated that the matches against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan SG and East Bengal on April 6 and 10 respectively will be held without spectators.

“We regret to inform that due to unforeseen circumstances, the matches against Mohun Bagan SG on April 6 and against East Bengal on April 10 will be played behind closed doors. The Shers will miss your (spectators’) presence in the stands,” the Punjab FC statement elaborated.

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The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) issued a notice to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium authorities on March 15 to not host any events on the premises until the fire safety norms were renewed.

The letter had been sent to the stadium’s administrator in connection with a fire incident on March 13 in the stadium’s CCTV room, leaving a man dead due to suffocation during the blaze.

The blaze had erupted in the lower basement of the main arena near the P-1 tunnel in JLN stadium. A man was found unconscious in the CCTV room and later declared dead, according to police.

A case was registered under the Indian Penal Code section 304-A (causing death by negligence) following the man’s death, they said.

During an inquiry, it was revealed that the stadium’s fire safety certificate was yet to be renewed, following which the letter was reportedly sent to the authorities on March 15.

The matches against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were expected to draw big crowds due to a sizeable fan following for the two Kolkata footballing giants.

Punjab FC are currently placed ninth in the 12-team premier football tournament in the country with 21 points from 20 games. Mohun Bagan are third with 39 points from 19 matches, while East Bengal are seventh with 21 points from 20 games.

Mumbai City are leading the table with 44 points, followed by Odisha with 39 points.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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