It's about time, Chennaiyin FC
The stadium, each shattered plank erasing the memories of countless victories that the fans have experienced in the stadium.
CHENNAI: With the announcement of the ISL fixtures on Thursday, Chennaiyin FC, the hometown club, has just one month left before they welcome the fans back to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, also known as Marina Arena.
As the new season approaches, the stands that will host the home fans present a disheartening sight with broken seats in almost every block of the stadium, each shattered plank erasing the memories of countless victories that the fans have experienced in the stadium.
The flooring is filthy, the railings are broken, and the tunnel through which the players will walk onto the field is stained and neglected. The pitch lies in shambles, devoid of any proper maintenance.
“In a joint meeting recently held here in Chennai, the Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development had allotted 25 crores (approx) for the revamp and development of the stadium, the revamp is under process.
We are taking this task on a serious note and are ready to work on it at any given time,” an official from the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu told DT Next.
The operational and maintenance cost of the ground is very high and the money being paid by the football clubs is never enough. We are definitely taking up initiatives to fix the shortcomings, she added.
The conduct of different sports events such as the Chess Olympiad and the Hockey Asian Champions Trophy bear testimony to the work that SDAT has done in the sporting biz over the last year.
The Tamil Nadu women’s football team that won the 2022-23 Senior Women’s National Championship, defeating Haryana in the final, was felicitated recently with a grant of 60 lakh rupees being sanctioned on an immediate basis.
“As the new ISL season beckons us shortly, it all comes down to the club and how it ties up with the ministry to propose its need and get it addressed,” she added.
Fans have repeatedly voiced their concerns about the broken seats and the lack of proper amenities at the stadium in the past seasons, as the new season beckons it is high time the club and state takes necessary action and puts the stadium in proper condition if they expect fans to return and cheer the team when the new season kicks off.