DSA battle it out with MCD over stadium

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

The stadium for Delhi's under 21 team is being used for purposes other than football leaving them with no place to practise.

DSA battle it out with MCD over stadium
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New Delhi:

The stadium for Delhi's under 21 team is being used for purposes other than football leaving them with no place to practise. On Wednesday, the team protested by shifting their practice venue to the road in front of the Ambedkar Stadium. The Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) organised a rally after the MCD allotted the ground meant for their practice to the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Foundation for a four-day sports festival. It's not the first time that these players have been given a raw deal, but the MCD has an explanation. "Dr Ambedkar Stadium is not a football stadium only. Over the years, with the approval of the authorities, the stadium is given for different activities," said Deep Mathur, Director, P&I. The Ambedkar stadium, meant to be a football stadium, is under the purview of the MCD which means that it hosts much more than just the Durand Cup. No objection With the stadium used for political rallies, cultural programmes and celebrity nights, it's ironical that the Delhi Soccer Association has to actually obtain a no objection certificate to play football here. "For the last 100 years, football is being played in this stadium and these people are talking about 'first come first served'. "Every year in the first month we give a full annual programme to the MCD and then we have also acquired a No Objection Certificate from the police," said NK Bhatia, Secretary, DSA. None of that solves the problem for the under 21 footballers who were meant to be practicing for the Datta Rai national trophy which begins on April 30. "We are helpless next to the authorities. We want to play for the country. We want to perform well. But with such problems, there is no motivation for us to do well," said a player. As the blame game continues, at the end of the day it is the sport and the people who play it that suffer. India is not a part of the FIFA World Cup that starts in June. If under 21 teams are not given the necessary space to hone their skills, it is unlikely that the India football team will reach that level any time soon.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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