Tuesday, Oct 21, 2003
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By V. V. Subrahmanyam
Huge trenches dug up across the football venue presented a pathetic sight a couple of days ago. S. P. Singh, IAS and Convenor of the Ceremonial Committee, insisted that the safety of the youngsters performing on the arena during the opening function was paramount as long and heavy cable lines would have posed a problem irrespective of the covers put on top of the surface.
It has been accepted that whatever little hope the Games Technical Conduct Committee had of organising football has now vanished into thin air. The old Goshamahal Stadium is getting spruced up and even the technical delegate of the Asian Football Confederation was reluctant to give the green signal immediately.
"Goshamahal ground is okay but needs improvement and that is the reason we have decided not to host matches on the first two days to give enough time for the improvements," the delegate said.
The GMC venue looks much better now with the `trenches' duly covered up. But it is still not good enough to convince the AFC officials to host the football matches there. The damage has already been done though one can't assess the actual cost.
The logic is simple: when the organisers are spending Rs. 15 crores for the opening and closing ceremonies, these `minor' things can always be brushed aside.
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