West Bengal government to build hockey stadium in Kolkata
The stadium could lead to hockey games involving the three big football clubs in Bengal.
The Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) on Tuesday revealed that the West Bengal government has assured it that a hockey stadium will be built inside the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Complex that also hosts the iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
"We have been assured by West Bengal minister of Sports and Youth affairs Aroop Biswas that the government will not only give us an astroturf to play hockey on but it will also build a moderate size stadium with modern facilities. The stadium will be good enough to host international matches," Olympic gold medallist and BHA vice-president Gurbux Singh told the media here.
Singh however, refused to comment on issues like time-frame or the specific location of the proposed stadium.
"We know nothing for sure yet. But the work is going to start as soon as possible. We went for an inspection of the place on Friday and we liked it and we conveyed that to the minister (Biswas) who readily agreed," Singh said.
"We have asked for a stadium which can accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 spectators."
Singh also believes that the new stadium will see Kolkata make a comeback on the hockey map of the country.
The big three in Kolkata to play hockey?
"We will look to hold national and international fixtures and we will try and get into the Hockey India League (HIL). We will try and revive the glorious past of the sport here," the 80-year-old said.
BHA secretary Swapan Banerjee said it is up to the three big Bengal clubs - Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting - to keep their word now and start playing hockey again.
"All three clubs stated that they would play hockey again when they get an astroturf. I hope they will stick to their word," he said.