Ambedkar Stadium To Get Artificial Turf Under FIFA's 'Win In India With India' Project
The "long-neglected Ambedkar Stadium is set to be granted an artificial turf" under the "Win in India With India" project -- FIFA's special initiative aimed at helping the "Sleeping Giant," as FIFA President Sepp Blatter termed the nation, lay basic infrastructure in select pockets where the beautiful game is popular, according to Krishnakumar K. H. of the NEW INDIAN EXPRESS. Kerala qualifies "for the scheme that envisages the laying of world class synthetic playing surfaces free of cost." Estimated to cost around 5 Rs crore ($830,000), the turf "is expected to be laid by an Italian company, which has a tie-up with FIFA to install football turfs as part of such projects." With the Greater Cochin Development Authority "having cleared the path for the long-promised takeover of the ground" by the Kerala FA, the details of the entire project to renovate the venue are being finalized. While the playing surface is the sole concern of FIFA, "the responsibility of rebuilding the gallery and installing allied facilities, like the pavillion, dressing rooms and parking space rests with the local body." One of the issues that was delaying the renovation of the stadium, "which the KFA has identified as a prime location in the state to be converted into an exclusive football venue which can host national-level matches and also serve as a training venue, was the relocation of traders who have set up businesses in the periphery of the galleries." The existing structure "is set to be demolished and rebuilt on a grander scale." But that "will be done only after the surface is laid" (NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, 6/18).