Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Chhetri unhappy with ODI tie on Kochi football field

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Opposition is mounting over the Kerala Cricket Association's (KCA) plans to dig up the football pitch at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi in order to host the India-West Indies ODI in November, with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and India football team captain Sunil Chhetri expressing dismay over the issue.

"Worried about the potential damage to the FIFA approved world class football turf in Kochi. [I] urge the KCA to take the right decision where cricket (Thiruvananthapuram) and Football (Kochi) can happily co-exist. [I've] urged Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai who has promised to look into the matter. Hoping that neither the cricket nor the football fans are disappointed," Tendulkar tweeted.

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri

Even Chhetri too tweeted, "We football fans in India have small joys and reasons to be happy about. A proper football pitch is one of them. Let's not snatch that away, even if it's for a little while."

Chhetri's national team colleague and Kerala Blasters' CK Vineeth too slammed the decision to dig up the stadium. "The JN Stadium is one of only six in India that are FIFA approved, a certification that will take immense effort to obtain again. When India has been known for being a cricket crazy nation, is it really necessary to dig up a football pitch to play a cricket match?" Vineeth tweeted.

Meanwhile, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor questioned the association's move. Tharoor, Thiruvananthapuram MP, said he has spoken to Vinod Rai against the KCA's bizarre decision to transfer an ODI match to Kochi, whose ground was last used for the U-17 Football World Cup. "He has promised to review the matter. KCA's motive is highly suspect", Tharoor tweeted.

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