Palakkad’s Noorani Football Ground gets radical makeover into district’s first turf stadium

17 April 2017

Football buffs, who have long cried laments about the negligence of the sport in Kerala, now have a reason to cheer.

The Noorani Football Ground in Palakkad, the playing ground for many of the state’s finest players, has undergone a radical makeover thanks to MLA Shafi Parambil. With Rs 2.5 crore from the MLA Asset Development Fund, the ground has been transformed into the district’s first Astroturf stadium. “The ground situated in the heart of the city was a playground for many well-known players like Abdul Hakim, who have played even for national clubs. It was an isolated ground which players loved, but without any facilities. I couldn’t simply watch the ground being transformed into a waste land, as the new generation don’t use the ground quite as often as the former players did,” Shafi told The News Minute.

The stadium, the MLA says, will be used as venue for premiere football matches. “The State Football Association is permitting League matches to be conducted only in turf stadiums. The stadium is expected to be a venue for state level league matches in the future,” he added. The MLA also plans to start a football academy in the district. “The State Sports Minister is also attending tomorrow’s function to open the stadium for the public. The idea of a football academy will be presented before him. There are summer camps for students in the district. If the idea of an academy works out, the stadium can be used as a professional  training ground for the students. If a reputed football player or coach is willing to act as the director, the dream of the academy will be realised,” he said.

The Infrastructure monitoring was done by Suntech Mumbai. The turf was imported from a FIFA-recognised firm of Finland. Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia will inaugurate the stadium on Monday, with a number of Kerala football stars including IM Vijayan, Pappachan , U Sharaf Ali, VP Shaji, former Indian goal Keeper Chacko, and Santhosh Trophy team Captain Usman, also attending the event.