Deplorable conditions in Bangalore stadium ahead of the Santosh Trophy south zone qualifiers
What's the story?
Karnataka are set to host the Santosh Trophy qualifiers this year for the first time since 1968-69. The state's football association has called this as a proud moment for Karnataka and has hoped that it will inspire the young generations to take up the sport.
But according to a report in My Khel, the authorities have failed to provide even basic facilities to the players ahead of the big tournament. The dressing room and the washrooms are in inhuman conditions and the deplorable conditions can be seen from the players' tunnel, it has been revealed.
In case you didn't know...
The south zone qualifiers are set to be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium from January 17-22. Two groups of four teams each are set to battle it out with the group winners of each group will then advance to the final stage of the Santosh Trophy.
Group A - Karnataka, Telangana, Services and Pondicherry
Group B - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Andhra Pradesh
Group A teams will play their matches on January 17, 19 and 21 whereas the Group B teams will play the matches on January 18, 20 and 22.
The heart of the matter
Coming back to the cleanliness issue, it has come to the fore that the local players have had to endure the stinking smell and the disgusting conditions while relieving themselves. The drainage pipes are not present for some urinals while there is no proper seating available in the changing rooms.
A local player has even claimed that the conditions are the same for the past five years. Meanwhile, no one quite seems to know if there is even a single toilet for women inside the stadium.
The authorities are now set to install portable toilets for the spectators during the five days of the tournament. The question of the cleanliness of the players' changing rooms and the toilets still remains a mystery.
Amidst all the talks of a successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the senior team's record ranking, sadly, this is the reality of the state of football in the country. The authorities need to have a hard look in the mirror when such type of stories emerge in the media. How can we take strides ahead if our local players are not even provided with basic facilities?