At Kalyani stadium, itís snake & football league

SEARING heat saw sparse turnout at the Kalyani Stadium for the I-League fixture between Mohun Bagan and Arrows on Sunday. But there were snakes aplenty at the ground.

It was sheer luck that about a dozen snakes didn't cause panic during Bagan 3-2 win, but the venomous creatures roamed freely near the dressing rooms and on the field after the match.

The ball boys, who were sitting outside the touchline, could have easily fallen prey.

Interestingly, even after such a scary incident, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is unlikely to ban the Kalyani Stadium as an I-League venue.

"No, we haven't taken such a decision yet. But we have instructed the authorities to take proper safety measures," I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar told The Indian Express .

The explanation given by the Kalyani Municipality chairman PK Sur was even more baffling.

"It's a snake infested area and they were out because it was too hot. It is their area which we took over," he said.

The players had no idea about the incident during the match but as they came to know about it later, they were scared. "It's a big issue. I for one would be afraid of playing there again," Bagan and India midfielder Rahim Nabi said.

He urged the authorities to ensure that conditions are more humane for the country's premier football tournament.

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