Concerned about the poor condition of the Shivaji Stadium, Hockey India has shot off a letter to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, stating that it would be unable to hold any event in the ground until remedial measures are taken. HI Executive Director R K Srivastava wrote to the NDMC Secretary highlighting the shambolic condition of the ground, which has been holding national tournaments as well as matches of Hockey India League for the last two years. The issues, which the national federation had highlighted, were maintenance of the pitch and condition of floodlights among others. "Hockey India has been utilising Shivaji Stadium for the last two editions of the Hockey India League from 2016 to 2017 and also for various Hockey India sanctioned All India tournaments. "(But) the stadium lacks maintenance of the pitch, poor standard of goal posts and fused bulbs in the floodlights. These observations have been highlighted by Hockey India time and again but very little has improved.
Specially, the maintenance of the pitch and and condition of floodlights remain unchanged," Srivastava wrote in his letter to NDMC. Srivastava further said HI has repeatedly told authorities about the issues but no action has been taken. He said until and unless remedial measures are taken as per International Hockey Federation (FIH) guidelines at the earliest, HI won't be able to able to hold any tournaments in the ground. "The pitch is currently very dirty and slippery which makes it unplayable and dangerous for athletes as they can get injured playing on such surface. Also, there is no proper cleaning equipment with the stadium authorities for cleaning the pitch," the HI official wrote. "The Technical Delegate of the Hockey India League also highlighted that the pitch is not in satisfactory condition for the conduct of matches. Further, the pitch certification is expiring on 8 April 2017 and new certification would be required for sanctioning of any All India tournament. "The floodlights have 18 fused bulbs and the trolley, which is used for replacement of bulbs/servicing, has been non-operational for more than 2 years now," Srivastava said. "With the present condition, Hockey India would not be able to sanction any All India tournament at Shivaji Stadium till the condition of the pitch and floodlights improve as per FIH standards," he concluded.
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