ISL 2018: 2 weeks after Chennaiyin FC's home matches, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium pitch left in tatters
Despite huge amounts of rent paid to the SDAT, the Marina Arena has not been seen in good condition.
What's the story?
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai has been home to this season's ISL champions Chennaiyin FC for nine matches this season. However, now that the season is over, the Marina Arena was seen in a rather deplorable condition, where the pitch looked like it barely had grass.
In case you didn't know...
This is not the first time that a stadium in Tamil Nadu has exhibited such poor quality of grass. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore was also seen to have large bare patches during the first few home matches of Chennai City FC. This stirred up a lot of controversies initially, but the quality of the playing surface was later improved.
The heart of the matter
Chennaiyin FC have been playing their home matches at the Marina Arena in Chennai over the last four seasons, and the fans, as well as the football players, have been treated with a lush green outfield every time.
However, just about two weeks after the end of the ISL, pictures of the stadium have emerged on social media, which show large patches where the grass has dried up.
Incidentally, Chennaiyin are said to have paid large amounts to the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) in rent. According to reports, they paid around the region or Rs 1.54 crore as rent to the SDAT.
These are crucial times for the Marina Arena, as the SDAT is said to be looking to host the Four-Nation InternationalCup, which the AIFF is planning to host at the arena. However, these plans may come into jeopardy, if the current state of affairs continues.
It is indeed deplorable to see such a famous stadium being left in such a condition. However, one must also take into account the various expenses that the SDAT has to make under such to run sports in the state. An amicable solution should be reached, in order to make a proper outfield available throughout the year.