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Lack of infrastructure and basic facilities has put off the Royal Netherlands FA. If they back out, it will be the latest in a string of setbacks for the state in recent years.....

It has not yet been a week since All India Football Federation’s Platinum Jubilee, and the pathetic state of the football infrastructure in the country has been revealed once again as lack of adequate facilities might now see the Dutch football association shelving its plan to set up a football academy in the state of Kerala.

This marks the latest setback for the state, which has previously lost out on the opportunity of being a host to Real Madrid as well as FIFA, who wanted to set up academies in Kerala.

It has been reported that officials from the Royal Netherlands Football Association were shocked at the lack of even basic facilities, even though they visited several possible locations, something which has seen the Southern state lose out on plans for 4 International academies in three years.

 “The Dutch were willing to send their coaches and train our players if we provided the facilities. Sadly, after visiting the locations in Munnar, they seem unhappy,” Anil Kumar, secretary of Kerala Football Association, was quoted saying.

This news though will hardly come as a shock to the football followers of Kerala, who in 2009 lost out on an artificial turf that FIFA agreed to roll out, provided that the state authorities could earmark a venue exclusively for football. Needless to say, the authorities failed to find one such location.

 “International football bodies are keen on investing in the state. It is sad we have to watch them come, see and go back shaking their heads in disbelief,” said Kumar.

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