Dempo to play home ties of AFC cup in Pune

Panaji, Feb 22(PTI) With the non availability offloodlights at the Nehru Stadium at Margao, Dempo would shiftall their home ties of the AFC Cup to Pune.

The Asian Football Confederation(AFC) has made itcompulsory that clubs playing even in their group stages ofAFC Cup should host matches under floodlights.

The Goa government had promised that floodlights would beinstalled at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, but things have notmaterialised and Dempo once again have to play their home tiesaway from Goa, team sources said.

India''s champion club Dempo will play their first matchof the AFC Cup 2011 against Yemen''s Al Tilal on March 1 atShiv Chhatrapati Stadium Balewadi, Pune under floodlights.

The goans fans will be deprived to see internationalmatches for the second time.

In 2008 Dempo played their knock-out matches in Hyderabadduring the AFC Cup.

They made history then by becoming the first Indian clubto make it to the semi-finals of the 2008 AFC Cupchampionships.

The Dempo team which returned early Monday morning aftera good performance against Qatar''s Al Sadd in the AFCChampions league play-off, despite their 0-2 loss, will now beshifting focus on excelling in the AFC Cup.

Dempo has been the flag bearer of Indian Football at theAFC events over the past four to five years having twiceplayed in the play-off of the AFC championships League in 2009against Sharjah FC and now against Al Sadd in Doha-Qatar,their rich experience will help them to do well in the AFCCup.

Following is Dempo''s AFC Cup fixtures: March 1- Dempov/s Al Tilal(Yemen)-Pune, March 15- Al Ansar(LIB) v/s - DempoLebanon, April 12- Dempo v/s Nasaf(UZB)-Pune, April 27-Nasaf(UZB) v/s Dempo -Uzbekistan, May 4- Al Tilal(Yem) v/sDempo- Yemen, May 11- Dempo v/s Al Ansar(LIB)-Pune. PTI MCS


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