MLA Sreenijin receives flak after Kerala Blasters' selection trials get disrupted

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Kochi: CPM MLA P V Sreenijin has been receiving flak after his apparent intervention resulted in the disruption of U-17 selection trials of Kerala Blasters at the Kerala State Sports Council ground in Panampilly Nagar on Monday.

The entrance to the ground remained shut in the morning, leaving hundreds of children to wait outside in the soaring summer heat. However, the authorities concerned were forced to open the gates after the MLA received flak for his decision.

According to Sreenijin, the gate was closed as Kerala Blasters had failed to pay the rent to the Sports Council. Sreenijin, also the president of Ernakulam District Sports Council, argued that Kerala Blasters' team owes Rs 8 lakh in arrears to the government body.

"We had no choice but to refuse entry to the ground. Eight months of arrears are to be paid. We also notified them (Blasters) about this number of times," he said.

Sreenijin also maintained that the incident happened due to some "misunderstanding" and Blasters didn't submit a letter seeking permission to conduct the trials. He added that the gate to the ground remains closed during night hours.

However, Sports Council President U Sharaf Ali dismissed MLA's claims and maintained that Blasters had paid rent until April. He also added that Blasters has the right to use the stadium.

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