The All India Football Federation (AIFF) were left with little choice but to lookout for options to host the twin international friendlies scheduled this month against Philippines and Nepal as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Chennai is yet to inaugurated by the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa.
The state government of Tamil Nadu had renovated the said stadium and until the chief minister undrapes it in a grand opening ceremony, the AIFF cannot be granted access to the venue despite having spent close to five lakhs to improve the field for the twin international friendlies to take place on November 15 and 19 respectively.
“We have been constantly trying to reach out to Jayalalithaa’s office but they are yet to give us a date for inauguration. So until the chief minister doesn’t cut the ribbon, the stadium cannot be utilized for the national team. This is ridiculous and as a result the national team has to suffer with the last minute venue change” informed an AIFF official.
It is reliably learnt that the AIFF had considered Pune’s Balewadi Stadium as a back-up however with the venue set to host a couple of rugby games in November, Siliguri ‘s Kanchenjunga stadium will be inspected on Friday and if it doesn’t fit in the criterion, the games will be moved to Bangalore Stadium.
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