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Delhi to be hub of football, says Sunil Chhetri

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ANI Football
Indian striker Sunil Chhetri on Wednesday said that national capital has to be the hub of football.
"It is not nice if you see any top footballing nation the capital is the hub. It has to be the hub. Do we not have an interest of football in Delhi? No! we definitely do have. We gonna make sure that we get it back," Chhetri told reporters.
Delhi does not have any club in the ISL or I-League which are the two top-most football tournaments of the country.
"But whatever the reason is, we have to work on them and we got to take a club, ISL club, I-League club or 2nd division club from Delhi," Chhetri said.
The 35-year-old Chhetri who hailed from Delhi said that there are many kids who want to be a footballer but they can not find any club to join.
"There are so many kids who aspire to play football professionally. If you don't have in your own state, a club to look up to, it becomes difficult. Then you have to come out to the different state to play top-division football," Chhetri said.
"So, I think I faced it when I was younger. In I-League there was not any club from Delhi, so I have to move out. It is not easy at all, I have faced it. I just hope that with coming teams in the ISL and I-League the kids do not have to move out. I'm not saying that the kid should be staying in the just one city but it becomes easier to look up to and to think this is where I want to reach," he added.
Talking about the alarming pollution level of Delhi, Chhetri said whenever he comes to Delhi he feels irritation in his eyes due to which many international players wear masks. Teams to don't stay in here for long and they cut-short their visits.
"When we come to Delhi, now I come very-very rarely I'm a Delhi boy, we do feel irritation in our eyes. Some of the foreign players do wear masks. We tend to not come to Delhi two days before just one day before so we can have less days here. To be honest, a lot of parents and my parent's friend don't stay here in Diwali. We all have to come together and think how to rectify this," Chhetri said.
Indian team last played against Bangladesh a 1-1 draw in the AFC and FIFA World Cup joint qualifiers. In that game, Blue Tigers created a lot of chances but they were not able to convert them to a goal.
"We are not happy with the performance against Bangladesh. We missed a lot of chances. The team played well but the strikers missed a lot of chances and that is why we lost two points in which we should not lose. That really bothers us, especially the ones who are playing striker line, I will try to best to rectify that," Chhetri said.
Inida will play against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers on November 14.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 5:49 PM IST

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