Business Standard

Bhaichung Bhutia joins chorus for football ground demand in Guwahati

Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has lent his support to the demand for football grounds in Assam's largest city Guwahati, for which several players had staged a protest here.

Bhaichung Bhutia

Press Trust of India Guwahati
Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has lent his support to the demand for football grounds in Assam's largest city Guwahati, for which several players had staged a protest here.
Sad to see young and old footballers coming to street to demand to save football grounds for them to play. I hope Assam Government can listen to their demand (sic), Bhutia tweeted.
Over 500 footballers from across the state had taken part in a protest rally in the city on Sunday, seeking a couple of fields that can be made available for playing the game.
There is not a single field... for playing football in Guwahati anymore. As a result, coaching has nearly stopped and no tournaments are being organised in the city, Hem Das, president of All Assam Football Players' Association, had said.
Our demand is simple, we want the Nehru Stadium to be reopened for football. It should also be allowed in the Judges' Field, he said.
Das, a former national-level footballer, said the absence of such fields was proving detrimental for the career of aspiring players.
Football can be played by anyone with a passion for the game, and youngsters hope to get jobs through sports quota later in their career. But, if they do not have exposure in terms of matches, they cannot be eligible... Das had said.
Hemendranath Brahma, Secretary of Assam Football Association (AFA), said the sporting body has been urging the government for it over the years.
The AFA had asked the authorities to provide an alternate field for football, when the Nehru Stadium was being converted into a dedicated cricket ground, which the latter had agreed to look into.
Brahma said the association has submitted a list of 10 sites in and around Guwahati to the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare for developing those as football grounds.
We don't have information on progress on our proposal yet, but we are assuming that the directorate is working on it. Our training ground at Bijoynagar on the outskirts of the city is also coming up, he added.
As per information on the All India Football Association website regarding its Assam affiliate body, there are 2016 registered footballers in the state with 195 players renewing their registration this year.
There are 53 approved clubs in the state along with 27 registered districts, but only 10 playing grounds, the data on the website showed.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Feb 21 2022 | 9:57 PM IST

Explore News