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Rediff.com  » Sports » AIFF gets go ahead to use Jawaharlal Nehru stadium

AIFF gets go ahead to use Jawaharlal Nehru stadium

October 05, 2011 15:46 IST

The All India Football Federation has received permission from the Sports Ministry to use the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for 40 days a year.

The stadium was used as a venue for the Commonwealth Games last year.

The move came about when Sports Authority of India (SAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in the presence of Sports Minister Ajay Maken and AIFF President Praful Patel, on Wednesday. According to the MOU, the football federation will be allowed to use the stadium, including the main pitch for 40 days a year to conduct national and international tournaments.

The federation has also been granted permission to use the outside practice ground of the stadium with no charge for 50 days a year along with other necessary facilities available at the venue.

"With the signing of an agreement today, the foundation has been laid for developing Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium into Hub of the Football," said Maken.

He also added that the installation of retractable seats can also be explored by SAI to enhance the seating capacity of the stadium.

Patel described the agreement as an important step to improve the standard of football in the country.

"This agreement can be regarded as the beginning of a new era. It will go long way in improving the ranking of the game, which has slipped considerably in the last few years because of the lack of availability of good sporting infrastructure at every level," said the minister for Heavy Industries.

He also requested the Minister to explore the possibility of providing residential accommodation to AIFF so that it can also set up a National Football Academy in New Delhi.

The AIFF will hold the SAFF football tournament in December 2011, Nehru Cup football tournament 2012, international matches, domestic tournaments and for the rest of the 40 days, it will hold coaching camps and clinics. The AIFF, on its part, will have to repair/re-lay the turf on the main pitch at the stadium at its own expense.

The agreement will be valid for a year and can be extended for two years based on review and mutual understanding.

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