AFC Champions League: Mumbai FC vs Neymar-Led Al-Hilal Match Shifted To DY Patil Stadium In Pune

AFC Champions League: Mumbai FC vs Neymar-Led Al-Hilal Match Shifted To DY Patil Stadium In Pune

The match's venue has been shifted from Pune's Balewadi Sports Complex to Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium.

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Thursday, September 28, 2023, 09:31 PM IST
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Mumbai FC is gearing up to take on Al Hilal, the Saudi Arabian club led by Brazilian sensation Neymar, in their highly anticipated AFC Champions League (ACL) match scheduled for November 8.

While football enthusiasts eagerly await this showdown, there's been a notable change in plans - the match's venue has been shifted from Pune's Balewadi Sports Complex to Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium.

The decision to move the match outside of Mumbai has sparked a lively debate within the local football community. Many have raised the question: "Mumbai FC is our Mumbai team, so why should the match be played outside Mumbai?".

DY Patil Stadium: A Grand Stage

The DY Patil Stadium, boasting a seating capacity of 55,000, has a rich history as it once held the title of India's second-largest cricket ground, second only to the Eden Gardens. T

hough it now ranks third, due to the construction of the massive Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, DY Patil remains an impressive venue. It offers spectators a comfortable experience with bucket seats and cantilever roofs ensuring unobstructed views.

In contrast, the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune can accommodate a mere 16,000 spectators, serving as the primary reason for the venue shift.

The only repercussion of this venue change is the rescheduling of a Syed Mushtaq Ali cricket match originally slated for October 27 at the stadium, which will now be relocated to the secondary ground within the complex.

Mumbai City's AFC Challenge: Relocating Home Ground

Mumbai City, owned by the City Football Group (CFG), faced a challenge as their home ground, the Mumbai Football Arena, did not meet AFC standards.

Consequently, they shifted their base to the Balewadi Stadium in Pune for their opening tie, resulting in a 0-2 loss to Iranian club Nassaji Mazandaran.

A Star-Studded Clash: Beyond Neymar

The match promises more than just Neymar's presence on the field.

Al Hilal, the most successful club in ACL history, boasts an impressive roster of stars, including Aleksandar Mitrović, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinković-Savić, and Ruben Neves. This contest is poised to be a thrilling spectacle for football fans.

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