Sports

Real Kashmir Football Club Owner Sandeep Chattoo Dies Aged 57 After Heart Attack

Primarily a hotelier, Sandeep Chattoo is widely acknowledged for his pivotal role in reinvigorating football in the insurgency-affected Kashmir valley. The inception of Real Kashmir FC dates back to 2016 and is credited to him

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Real Kashmir FC owner Sandeep Chattoo passed away in Gurugram at the age of 57.
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Sandeep Chattoo, a prominent businessman and the owner of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), died in Gurugram after suffering a severe heart attack, his family said on Sunday.

Chattoo was 57. 

He is survived by his mother, wife, and two children. 

According to the family, he experienced chest pain in the afternoon, following which he was swiftly taken to a hospital in Gurugram, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

His last rites are scheduled to take place in Jammu.

Primarily a hotelier, Chattoo is widely acknowledged for his pivotal role in reinvigorating football in the insurgency-affected Kashmir valley. The inception of RKFC, affectionately known as the 'Snow Leopards', dates back to 2016 and is credited to him.

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The idea to establish the football club stemmed from the aftermath of the catastrophic floods in 2014, during which Chattoo observed a significant amount of untapped talent, much of which was at risk of getting lost to delinquent activities.

Recognising football as a potential avenue to redirect the energies of the region's youth, Chattoo, the proprietor of a 4-star boutique hotel, initiated the club.

RKFC achieved significant success, notably winning the second division I-League in 2018. In December 2020, the club further solidified its accomplishments by securing victory in the 123rd edition of the IFA Shield.

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As the lone representative from Jammu and Kashmir, the club has garnered international acclaim, with a documentary about their journey winning in the prestigious 'Single Documentary' category at the British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Awards Scotland, in addition to receiving accolades at the UK 'Broadcast Awards'.

The untimely demise of Chattoo marks a significant loss for the football community, particularly in the context of his pioneering contributions to the sport in the region.

In the ongoing 2023-24 I-League season, RKFC are occupying the second place with six wins, three defeats and two draws after 11 matches. They have so far collected 20 points.

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