Indian football team's Mumbai homeground to be upgraded into world class facility
What's the story?
The Andheri Sports Complex, also known as the Mumbai Football Arena, is all set to have a renovation to meet AFC (Asian Football Confederation) standards according to an Asian Age report.
Officials of the Mumbai Football Arena have confirmed that after the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 concludes, new seats along with VIP and media boxes would be installed.
In case you didn't know...
Mumbai Football Arena has been a very good host to the Indian football team, as the Blue Tigers have never lost there in the four games they have played so far, winning against Puerto Rico, Nepal and Mauritius while drawing against St. Kitts and Nevis.
Mumbai Football Arena also hosted a couple of FIFA U17 World Cup friendlies among Brazil, New Zealand and England.
The Andheri-based complex also hosted Mumbai City FC's home games in the Indian Super League last season and will do the same in the upcoming season too.
The heart of the matter
Henry Menezes, CEO of Western India Football Association has put in a request to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to allow them to upgrade the stadium and make it compliant with the norms of AFC.
Mumbai Football Arena came up in shape after years of renovation under the leadership of Aditya Thackeray. Now, WIFA wants to take it forward to give it a premium look.
Currently, the stadium holds up to 8,000 people with bucket seats available only in certain stands. With the renovation, the stadium would have all the bucket seats and get upgraded to a 20,000-capacity stadium.
The Mumbai Football Arena, due to its prime location and good connectivity with Mumbai Local and Mumbai Metro, is a great place to host football matches. It also has stands closer to the field compared to other ISL venues. An upgrade to a larger capacity and better facilities would enable players and fans have a better experience.
With the ISL getting an AFC Cup berth, Mumbai City FC would not be forced to play at the DY Patil Stadium on the other side of the city if they make it into the continental competition and their renovated Mumbai Football Arena is up to AFC standards.