The All India Football Federation (AIFF) have landed themselves in an embarrassing situation after having named Ranchi as one of the venues to host the Federation Cup without having inspected it in the first place.
The Morabadi Football Stadium has an uneven surface which cannot be worked upon in the next eight days or so to make it ready for the tournament. The alternative in Mega Sports Complex at Ranchi has two cricket pitches in the centre of the field and hence the possibility of shifting the group A and D matches has been ruled out as well.
It must be noted that the AIFF announced Ranchi as the co-host alongside Siliguri on August 23 in the meeting with the I-League clubs after the latter had protested that they didn’t want to play in Assam’s capital Guwahati due to the volatile situation in the state.
“There should have been an inspection before the venue was announced,” Ankur Dutta, AIFF vice-president and chairman of the Federation Cup, informed Goal.com adding that the final decision on the venue will be taken on Monday.
Thereafter it is reliably learnt that an inspection was conducted by one of the senior vice-presidents of the AIFF at Ranchi and the report suggested that the Morabadi Football Stadium would be fit to host the matches.
However just a couple of days earlier when another senior vice-president of the AIFF visited Ranchi, he observed that the stadium was in no way ready for the Federation Cup. The AIFF called in an expert who works on football fields, to give his view on the Mega Sports Complex. However his verdict that the field cannot be improved on such a short notice left the AIFF bemused.
The AIFF is now looking to shift the group A and D matches to JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, which doesn’t have floodlights meaning that there will be two afternoon kick-offs on a day which wouldn’t help the cause of the teams in the said groups.
However this is unlikely to hurt the plans of roping in a broadcaster for the tournament as Goal.com understands that the channel, who is engaged in talks with AIFF's marketing and commerical partners, IMG-Reliance, has requested for at least one evening kick-off so that they can telecast two matches per day.
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