Thursday, July 25, 2024

FIFA to step in for fencing work


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The FIFA has finally agreed to step in for the construction of the fencing to protect the artificial football turf which is being laid at the third division ground, Polo under its project “Win in India with India”. This was done on the request of the Meghalaya Football Association (MFA).

“We have got confirmation that FIFA has agreed to construct the fencing along the Wahumkhrah river to protect the artificial turf,” MFA secretary M Larsing Sawian told reporters here on Tuesday.

He said the MFA had sent the proposal to FIFA to help in the construction of the fencing.

“We have primarily sought the support of FIFA in this venture so that we would be able to seek financial support from the Government on its other programme for development of football in the State,” MFA secretary said.

Sawian added that if the Government constructs the fencing then it would limit the scope of the MFA to seek funds from the Government on its other programmes.

According to him, the MFA has gone ahead seeking the support of the FIFA after consulting with the State Government.

“We are expecting to complete the construction of the fencing and also the laying of the artificial turf by the end of August,” Sawian said.

Replying to a query, he informed that the artificial turf has already arrived in the city adding that it is being kept in the indoor stadium behind the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex (JNSC).

Earlier, the State Government was severely criticised for its hesitance to allocate the funds for construction of the fencing.

Deputy Chief Minister in charge of Sports Bindo M Lanong had said that an amount of Rs 33.86 lakh that had been proposed for construction of fencing and drains in second and third ground, Polo but the amount was shelved after the coming of FIFA’s project.

The Minister landed in controversy when he said that the government was not aware about the project and would not take responsibility for maintaining the turf since FIFA had not consulted the government. He also said that the government has no fund for construction of fencing.

But a few days later he assured that the government would work out an amount of Rs 16 lakh for construction of fencing and would put its heads together for the interest of sports in the State.

During the visit of FIFA consultant Dr Eric Harrision to Shillong on May 7, he was visibly upset on seeing that fencing was not constructed around the ground.

He urged upon the local authorities to construct the fencing for protection of the artificial turf, to ensure proper drainage system to keep the ground dry especially during the monsoon season and to construct a retaining wall to protect against flashflood that may be caused by Umkhrah river especially during the rainy season.


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