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Astro turf for Guwahati

Guwahati, Nov. 1: Guwahati is expecting an artificial football turf after Imphal and Shillong in the region by next year.

This was disclosed by AIFF vice-president and Assam Football Association (AFA) secretary Ankur Dutta here yesterday saying that the AFA has moved Fifa through the AIFF for an artificial turf and the project could be approved of by next year.

“We have requested Fifa for the turf at our own football training centre ground at Vijay Nagar (on the city outskirts) and hope it will be approved of in the next phase of sanctions by next year,” he said.

“We could have applied for it earlier too but did not have our own ground which is mandatory for the sanction under Vision Asia as well as Fifa Gold project,” Dutta added.

“The Fifa rules stipulate that the ground will have to be exclusively a football field so that it can be leased out for at least 30 years because the AIFF, Fifa and the state football body can utilise it any time for development of football,” AIFF assistant general secretary Anil Kamat, who was with Dutta, explained.

Kamat also said once the turf is laid, the Fifa would also assist in erecting stands around it.

The Vijay Nagar infrastructure has been lying unutilised ever since it was inaugurated by chief minister Tarun Gogoi over two years ago because of a paucity of funds on the part of the AFA for developing it into a full-fledged football training centre.