Uttar Pradesh football stadiums lacks sporting infrastructure.
Lucknow: Despite having a budget of Rs21,610 crore allocated to sports, Uttar Pradesh lacks in facilities such as drinking water, hostels, changing rooms. They then mostly play in the school or college grounds due to lack of these facilities.
“There are hardly four stadiums here and that too in horrible conditions. They don’t water the ground regularly, it isn’t maintained and is injury prone as the grass is also not cut evenly. In the state level matches that we play here it looks like we are not improving,” said Shivam Yadav, a district level football player.
Uttar Pradesh has a football team that represents them in Santosh Trophy. They haven’t won the tournament till date.
“We try to train them hard by giving them some drills. But we need better ground and facilities here to make them compete against the top teams. The teams outside play on better grounds and compete with good players which our boys don’t have the leverage to do,” said Swapneet Katiyar, a football coach.
Recently, the chief minister’s office had ordered a probe into allegations of large-scale foul play at the Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh (UPFS) which is an association that manages the football in UP. But, according to an RTI query, the sports department has stated the UPFS does not exist in its record. It is not a government body as it comes under All India Football Federation.
Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association secretary, Anandeshwar Pandey, has said that UPFS is not associated with them since 2014. Despite this, UP Sports Directorate had been supporting the association financially. The government officials have said that they are looking forward to improve the infrastructure of the grounds and build new stadiums.
Instead of solving the football infrastructure issue in UP, it has been thrown into much deeper trouble of finding out who actually represents Uttar Pradesh football here.