Corporate Social Negligence!

Kozhikode is planning for an International Football Tournament

Posted in Football, India, Kerala, politics, soccer, sports by clash on August 13, 2008

The football Stadium in Kozhikode was built in 1977, the bold emphasis for football here is because, later on the stadium dithered on the supposed purpose and held couple of cricket matches.

But in 1997 the district authorities planned to revamp the stadium, the work went on for a very long period – 7.5 years. The stadium was re-opened in February 2005 to an increased capacity of 35,000. But 7.5 years is a long time span; that this city missed out on a lot of football matches that could have happened in Kozhikode.

Santosh Trophy has happened twice in Kozhikode. Other than this national tournament, good tournaments like Sait-Nagjee, Scissors Cup and Federation Cup used to happen in Kozhikode. Organisers of these tournaments were never in doldrums about deciding Kozhikode as the venue because this town has always atrracted sizeable numbers for any tournaments that happened there.  May be KDFA and KFA hatched plans to generate more revenue from the gate collection and planned the revamping of the stadium.

Sad to say, this effort huffed and puffed for 7 long years, till the Corporation of Kozhikode managed to put back the pieces they tore down in the name of revamping.  This so called revamping has a very important role in the present nonchalance shown by crowds towards football happening in this town.  During this 7 long years, kozhikode missed out on a lot of good tournaments – national and International; that would have came to the town. Satellite television bombarded European leagues right in to the living room and the crowd was happy seeing beautiful football in their Television sets than sweating out in the sun cheering a local team.

By February 2005, the revamped stadium was in place but there was no flood lights or  good dressing rooms in the stadium. People in Kozhikode had to wait for 3 more years to watch some football in their stadium as Viva kerala played their home matches for i-league in this town. Newspaper reports say that close 20,000 attended  the match between Viva and Bagan and that is astounding number  wheil you weigh it against the popularity of Viva in Kerala.

So, what is different today? Todays newspaper carry headlines that KDFA has confirmed with the Corporation of Kozhikode that the work of flood lights will be done by October this year and they are planning for an International tournament in Kozhikode. I can only hope and probably rope in some, for offering prayers to the necessary sports gods, so that the flood light installation doesn’t go on and on for another 7 long years.

International tournament in kozhikode means – kahakafou FC from Nigeria, Nkrumah club from Kenya, some Pakistani and Bangladeshi clubs; we are not supposed to expect anything more than this. But, if they are able to rope in some good local teams, there will be enough crowd in this football loving town.

There is already a good football league that is happening in Kozhikode, Videocon were the sponsors last time around. They have A, B, C, D division leagues with around 10 teams in each division and that is a hell lot of football.  I hope this touted international tournament helps kozhikode raise its profile once again in the footballing map of India and attract tournaments like AFC challenge Cup to this city. I am very sure there would have been good crowd response in this town, if AFC challenge cup had happened here.

So that is  about the serious expectations i hold for kozhikode. Now, for the football loving ladies in this nation, KDFA has also announced a football league for women in kozhikode. I am not too sure, how big a success it will be, but on its own if it can thrive in this society, it will be a great.

More to come on AFC Challenge Cup after today’s final match in Delhi and I am planning to compile a list of keralite footballers who are plying their trade in clubs outside kerala. Did you know that Mumbai FC has 4 players from Kerala in their ranks? If you dint, you ought to keep track of this blog!

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