The Federation Cup National Athletics Championships will be shifted to NIS Patiala after the Sports Authority of India denied permission to hold it at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here in view of FIFA U-17 World Cup, Athletics Federation of India said today. The tournament is scheduled to be held from June 1 to 4. A fuming AFI said that the SAI had earlier given the green signal to host the event at JLN but did a u-turn just two weeks before the event. The bone of contention is the use of throw area inside the football pitch, which will be used for the group matches of the U-17 World Cup in October. AFI wants to use the area, but SAI has refused. "We decided to host the Federation Cup at the JLN after getting permission from SAI. But now SAI said we cannot use the throw area inside the football pitch. So we are shifting the event to Patiala. The dates will remain the same," AFI secretary C K Valson told PTI. "Fed Cup is an important event in our calendar and athletes can qualify for the World Championships.
So athletes need the best competition area. We can hold the throw competition at the adjoining area but with top athletes like world junior record holder Neeraj Chopra we need to hold it proper competition area. "Moreover, we need crowd to cheer the athletes. There will be very few crowd at NIS. JLN is a proper athletics venue and crowd support can produce better performance of athletes. "So, SAI's refusal is not good for athletics. We have two important international events this year -- Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar in July and World Championships in London in August. We need best competition facilities for athletes but it is not happening," he added.
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