Nehru Stadium not ready to host WC qualifier
New Delhi: The Ambedkar Stadium will host Indian football team's World Cup qualifier against UAE on June 28 as the AIFF feels the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium won't be ready in time for the match.
"Ambedkar is hosting the match as the Nehru stadium won't be ready in time," said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.
The AIFF has intimated the Delhi Soccer Association of its decision, informed DSA vice-president NK Bhatia.
While Das said the Nehru stadium won't be ready in time, sources in the AIFF however claimed that the change in venue has got to do with the high cost the federation might have had to incur if the match was held there.
Moreover, the turf at the Nehru stadium is far from hosting an international match, and bringing it up to the required standards would have meant spending more money.
Keeping all these factors in mind, the AIFF had sought Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) permission for a change in venue.
"We are ready to host the match," Bhatia said of the Ambedkar stadium, where the national team footballers are presently attending a camp.
Meanwhile, Bhatia said the DSA is still paying a rent of Rs 5,000 for a day's training to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the owner of the stadium.
The booking rate of the football stadium was raised from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 last year.
That prompted two Congress councillors to urge the MCD to lower the booking rate of the stadium and lease it to the DSA.
Bhatia said the issue will be sorted out before India's World Cup qualifier.