Indore: Another case of how sportsmen are not looked after by their associations came to light in Indore where state level footballers had to resort to cleaning a cricket stadium to buy themselves a pair of football boots. (Watch)
The Holkar Stadium of Indore will host the 4th ODI between India and the West Indies on December 8. For the first time in three years, an international side is going to play cricket on this ground.
But to beautify the stadium for the game, the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association has roped in a local A division football team that is made up of 5-7 state level players.
"We'll use the money to change our torn boots and old football kit," Sanjay Nidhan, coach of the club, said.
Such is the state of affairs that the footabllers are paid a petty Rs 2.75 for every seat they clean in a stadium that can hold a 26,000 capacity crowd.
"Football bohut hi niche sthar par chala gaya hai... hamara background bhi itna accha nahin hain ki hum football ko acche sthar pe le jaye. hum bas mazduri karke football ka jo paalan potion karte hain aur naye larko ko late hain"
("Football is at a very low level. We don't have a strong background to lift the game. So we work on wages to support the game and introduce talent," said Tej Karan Chauhan, who is a football player.)
So yet another low in the diminishing state of Indian football as these young footballers who have worked hard for the beautiful game are now forced to clean a cricket stadium in their own backyard just to earn their right to play.