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First Kashmir football team scheduled to play abroad eagerly awaits visa

Real Kashmir have become the first side from Kashmir to be invited to play a tournament in the United Kingdom.

football Updated: Jun 30, 2017 06:42 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Real Kashmir,Kashmir football,Albion Rovers
Real Kashmir is scheduled to play Albion Rovers on July 3, 2017.(Facebook)

Real Kashmir football club, which became the first football club from Valley to be invited to play a tournament on foreign soil, is desperately waiting for their visa to UK with the first match scheduled on Monday.

In pre-season friendly matches, the football club from Srinagar was scheduled to play Albion Rovers on July 3, Hamilton under 20s on July 5 and Stenhousmuir on July 8.

Real Kashmir FC made their second division debut last season -- winning three of their six fixtures in the preliminary round.

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But unfortunately for the team, their first visa application was rejected for lack of paper work and their second visa application was filed last Wednesday with all relevant paper work including letters from Jammu and Kashmir government, All India Football Federation and the local football association and bank statements.

“I think the lack of paperwork was the main reason for rejection of the first application. We have applied with all the details now. I just pray and hope that our VISA’s come though by the weekend,” said Shamim Meraj, owner of the club.

But, as of Thursday evening, the team had not heard from the UK embassy and are anxiously waiting.

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The team’s accommodation is booked for stay in the University of Glasgow student accommodation and already have paid 1200 pounds as advance.

“For the boys its a dream to play in Europe. It will be heartbreaking if they can’t make it. They have trained very hard in the month of Ramadan and it will be a heart break it we cant make it. Kashmir needs some hope. Tickets for Monday’s game are already up for sale,” Mehraj said.

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 21:05 IST

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