New Delhi: Chaos and confusion was the order of the day on the eve of the Federation Cup, set to kick off in Calcutta and Pune, on Saturday.
In Pune, where eight teams would be involved in quarter final league matches over the next six days, Mohun Bagan coach Steve Darby complained about the poor practice facilities.
To make it worse, the venue, Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, played host to a cultural programme on Friday evening. While teams felt it would damage the turf, organisers assured the ground would be ready before the start of the tournament.
On Saturday, 13-time champions Mohun Bagan will take on Royal Wahingdoh in the days first match in Group A.
Darby was livid after the Calcutta team was forced to train on the rain-hit Pune Football Club ground.
Alleging the ground was full of potholes, uneven bounce and broken goalposts, the Mohun Bagan coach said he was disappointed with the facilities.
I am often asked when India would play the World Cup finals. Thats a distant dream. I would like to know who took the decision to practice at this ground.
I dont like to sound like a cynical Englishman, but you ought to provide better facilities, he said.
Despite the problems, Mohun Bagan were upbeat on the eve of their opening match against Royal Wahingdoh with star striker Odafe Okolie promising to deliver the goods.
I am here to score goals…. All the players know what their job is. I will give my 100 per cent, said the striker.