New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has lambasted the Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the pathetic condition of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which hosted the football match between India and European Giants Bayern Munich here last week.
"We saw the pictures of the pitiable conditions of the stadium in the press and later received several complaints from fans and some foreign spectators about the pitiable conditions of the stadium where they had to clean the seats which were full of filth and dirt," IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement.
Malhotra said though the match was played for a laudable purpose -- farewell to Bhaichung Bhutia and collecting fund for Sikkim earthquake victims -- the impression left on the mind of the public and foreign guests after seeing the conditions of the stadium is one of disgust.
"Instead of seeing Incredible India, the foreigners witnessed the worst, this was Sports Authority of India`s (SAI) way of promoting sports tourism," he said.
"The condition of other stadiums are also no better and the way things are going they are going to become big junkyards."
Malhotra reminded Sports Minister Ajay Maken and SAI officials that in October last year he had warned that because of lack of proper maintenance the Rs 1000 crore Nehru stadium is turning out to be most expensive junkyard in the world.
He urged the Sports Ministry to put its house in order and strictly monitor the upkeep of these expensive stadia.
"Otherwise we may hear more horror stories about these stadiums," Malhotra said.
Malhotra also advised Maken to use his energies in a constructive way.
"Mr Maken should try to get the rules for the MPLAD scheme amended or revised to allow these funds also to be used for promotion of sports at the grass root level, building of sports infrastructure, holding of state, national and international competitions," he said.
"Once these rules are changed, the Minister should then convince every member of Parliament (both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) to contribute at least 10 per cent of his/her fund available to them under MPLAD for sports related schemes," he added.