The tournament which is scheduled to kick off in a week’s time has been moved from Chennai…
The venue for the Champions Cup which is set to take place later this month has been changed from Chennai to Mumbai, the All India Football Federation announced on Wednesday. The high rates charged by the Sports Development of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) for using the pitch was a factor in the decision AIFF Secretary, Kushal Das told SportsStar.
Earlier on Wednesday, SDAT had given permission to the host Tamil Nadu Football Association (TFA) to conduct the tournament with the following rates: 2 lacs per match, practice sessions per day 75,000 and another 75,000 if the teams train at the Nehru “B” Ground.
Das blamed SDAT, stating that the amount charged by them was too high and the Federation cannot pay that much of an inflated figure. He said, ““We are bringing international football to Chennai after so many years and SDAT is treating it as a commercial event. It is really sad.”
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He also noted that the charges in Mumbai were much lesser than what SDAT had asked for. Jesiah Villavarayar, President of the TFA had tried his best to interact with top SDAT officials to convince them to lower the charges, but they did not budge.
The 2017 Champions Cup is going to be the first edition of the tournament, an annual invitational multi-continental competition organized by the AIFF. The Champions Cup is going to replace the Nehru Cup, which had been won by India three times. The matches will now be played in the city of Mumbai from the 17th of August till the 27th and will be a big chance for the Indian national team to show their capability against some tricky oppositions. This will also be an opportunity for the national side to help to increase their FIFA ranking which has already gone up to 96th, the second highest in the history of the national team.
What was initially announced as a four-nation tournament, the Champions Cup has now been reduced to a three-nation tournament with St. Kitts & Nevis and Mauritius confirming their participation alongside hosts India in it. The Blue Tigers are scheduled to arrive in the city on August 11th and will train at the Andheri Sports Complex, before the tournament kicks off in a week’s time. Stephen Constantine’s side will want to impress the whole nation with a compelling showing in the tournament and end up as winners of this revamped version of the Nehru Cup.