India Sports
Santosh Trophy: AIFF to inspect facilities in Srinagar
Apr 29, 2007 - 4:52:13 PM

New Delhi, April 29 - The All India Football Federation - will send a delegation next month to inspect the facilities at Srinagar which is set to host the Santosh Trophy national football championship in July.

Zamir Ahmed Thakur, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association, told IANS from Srinagar that preparations were in full swing to make the tournament a success.

Two grounds, one of them in the heart of the city, are being prepared for the matches, he said. Hoteliers have been approached for accommodation of players. Sounding positive, Thakur hoped visitors would enjoy their stay when they come to Srinagar for the Santosh Trophy.

He, however, refrained from commenting on security concerns voiced by a couple of states.

'We belong to the sports fraternity,' Thakur said, adding that things like security or militancy were far from their mind. Thankfully, militants have left sports events alone in the valley.

'The AIFF delegation will see for itself that we are prepared to stage the mega event in July,' he said.

Srinagar last hosted the Santosh Trophy, its 35th edition, in happier times in 1978-79 when West Bengal emerged champions defeating Goa 1-0 in the final.

The Jammu and Kashmir state summer capital was allotted the tournament last autumn, but they were unable to stage it in September because of security concerns expressed by two leading national football powers, Goa and West Bengal.

The Haryana Football Association, supported by the state government, then stepped in to hold the tournament at Faridabad and Gurgaon.

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