Setting aside the off-field issues that have plagued them of late, Air India and ONGC are all set to battle it out in their 20th I-league encounter at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Sunday.
According to reports, the two institutional teams, both of whom have failed to fulfil the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) club licensing criteria, will not be allowed to continue in the league. This effectively means that even if they finish above the relegation zone, they will be out of the league.
However, the players, despite the setback, are focussed on the game than anything else. They are determined to give it their best shot in the match that was originally scheduled on January 20.
“They (players) are well aware of the issue. All that they can do is go out there and give their best. This can be the only consolation for them,” said Air India’s new coach Naushad Moosha. ONGC coach Santosh Kashyap is, however, hopeful. “It is a tough call. But we are living with it and hope things will be sorted out in the days to come.”
Moosha felt that his side would be positive. “Though we are down at the 12th position, I am sure the boys will look to make most of the opportunity. Their performance will enable them to find greener pastures ahead,” he said.
ONGC is slightly higher in the table, in seventh position with 24 points.