Surface in spotlight at football stadium

A constant complaint by participating teams at the South Zone qualifiers for the 72nd Santosh Trophy was the extreme heat conditions that arose from the artificial turf at the Bangalore Football Stadium (BFS).

Apart from the heat, uneven bounce is another adversity teams faced, but it  can be noted that it is a surface that is foreign to a lot of sides.

On Monday, Karnataka State Football Association president N A Harris announced that there was an official request made to bring the Santosh Trophy to the city, but Kerala coach Satheevan Balan believes it may not be a good idea for the tournament to be hosted on the degenerating pitch at the stadium here.

"If the pitch is of good quality,  we won't have an issue playing on it. But I feel that hosting big tournaments on artificial turf may not be the best idea.

"In addition to that, we have struggled on the practice grounds given to us since they were mud pitches. It was only after the first game that we were allowed to train at BFS during the morning session. Quality training grounds are a must when a lot of teams travel to a city," voiced Balan.

KSFA treasurer AD Nagendra assured that, while there is a dearth of grass grounds at their disposal, the KSFA is planning to rent the ASC and MEG pitches for sides to train on. "If we are given the opportunity to host the tournament (Santosh Trophy), we will ensure there are enough training facilities for visiting teams. We are planning to  rent the facility at MEG and ASC."

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