Aaditya Thackeray, the head of Yuva Sena – a youth wing of political party Shiv Sena – met the officials of FIFA and All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday evening and implored that the Andheri Sports Complex be earmarked as the ‘Home of Indian football'.
FIFA’s Development Officer for central and south Asia, Dr.Shaji Prabhakaran met Sena scion alongside FIFA coaching instructor Vincent Subramanium, I-League’s CEO, Sunando Dhar and Scot O’Donnel, Head of AIFF’s coaching and academies. Also present at the meeting was Mumbai FC’s vice-president, Atul Bagdamia to seek possibilities on how Andheri Sports Complex can be utilized best.
“Aaditya Thackeray was very keen on hosting India’s international matches. The stadium has been refurbished with natural grass turf and is expected to be ready by March 2016. He wants it to be the home for the Indian national team and also to be used as a training center. He even suggested that the facilties which were are top notch, and can be made available for any future coaching courses as well,” Dhar informed Goal .
“The stadium will have a capacity of 18000 after the bucket seats are installed,” he further added.
Thackeray was advised that the stadium must have a floodlight of a minimum 1200 lux for it to host international matches. The possibility of Mumbai FC playing their home matches at Andheri Sports Complex was also discussed.
“Thackeray wanted Mumbai FC to play their home games at the venue. Also the stadium is well connected with north and south Mumbai. You also have the train and metro stations not far from the stadium which will make connectivity easier for fans,” said Dhar.
It is indeed heartening to see Thackeray's push and vigour in promoting the needs of football throughout the commercial capital of India.