Stadium to get soccer-fit turf

8 August 2018

A two-member team from Tata Football Academy (TFA) visited the ground at Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Hotwar on Monday and found that the grass laid there was unfit for the game.

The team comprised TFA ground official Anand Kumar Sahu and Nishi from Abhishek Enterprises, a Tata Steel vendor having the expertise in constructing many grounds in the state and outside.

Though the team members didn't wish to speak to the media, sources in the know said that they had suggested that the grass should be replaced at the 100x80-metre ground to make it game-ready.

"When this stadium was made, Mexican grass was planted, but it is not suitable for football or playgrounds. It is ideal for lawns. Mexican grass grows faster and is very thick because of which there are chances of injury as well as problems in the ankle of players," the source said quoting the team's observation.

The team has recommended the plantation of doob grass.

"After uprooting the grass, soil has to be raked and a fresh mixture of sand and soil needs to be laid and watered. The team recommended the plantation doob grass after that," said the source, adding that the best time to revamp the ground is summer or monsoon as the grass will grow at a better speed during these periods.

Vikrant Malhan, a senior administrative officer of Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS) confirmed the team's arrival and their recommendations.

JSSPS is a joint venture between the state sports department and Central Coalfields Limited that operates and manages the mega sports complex of which the athletics stadium is a part.

"We called the experts from TFA because they have their own football ground that is well maintained. We are going to revive the ground here and make it game-ready so that we can organise matches here round the year. Also, we are already running a football academy at JSSPS. Therefore, revamping the ground is necessary to prepare our cadets at competitive facilities," said Malhan, adding that they are eyeing to revive the ground by the end of September.

On whether TFA will be roped in for the ground work, he said JSSPS had sought TFA's expert advice to begin with. "We will forward the recommendations to our civil te-am and will first aim to do the work on our own, which will give us exposure in ground pre-parations for future," he said.