Fatorda pitch to be ready by the end of November

The pitch itself is expected to be adhering to international standards, will host a round I-League games in December...
The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) official report on the sorry state of the turf at the Nehru stadium in seems to have struck the right bows, as key stadium maintenance officials have sprung into action and have vowed to have the ground ready, as per international standards, by the end of November.

Stadium manager Gurudas Vernekar, in an interview with Navhind Times, has expressed confidence in the progress made in laying of the pitch and expects it to be available to the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) by the required date.

A round of I-League matches are expected to be held on the relayed turf for the purpose of testing the competence of the pitch. The stadium will then be used to hold the traditional Lusofonia games from the 18th to the 29th of January, 2014.

“There are minor patches seen on the grass imported from USA but contractor Nandan Hebleker has told me that it will be filled up once the trimming work begins,” explained Vernekar, who said he was aware of the criticism barraged by the Indian FA assistant general secretary, Anil Kamat.

“The grass will be trimmed around two to three times and all the minor patches seen will be covered up before handing over the ground.”

It is known that Heblekar had informed Anil Kamat of the same.

Kamat on the other hand elucidated that he was pacified by Keshav Chandra, Lusofonia Games CEO, on the Nehru stadium pitch’s viability as the former pointed out that the work carried out at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco was progressing far better than the former.

Kamat also took pains to explain the international standards to be taken care of including the levelness of the pitch, the degree of softness of the grass, followed by its exact thickness (one-and-a-half inches) and warned against the use of mud while preparing the ground.

Vernekar also waved away the talk of using any kind of mud stating the contractor has specifically used sand. “The ground is prepared by using sand all over and it has been prepared in such a way that there will be no water logging,” concluded Vernekar.

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