Sachin is the co-owner of Kerala Blasters FC Image: Twitter
Amid mounting opposition over the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA)'s plans to host the India-West Indies ODI in November in Kochi, Sachin Tendulkar has said hosting the match could end up damaging the FIFA-approved world-class football turf.
He suggests that Thiruvananthapuram should host the ODI cricket match between India and West Indies on November 1 instead of the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, which was last used for the U-17 Football World Cup.
Tendulkar further said that he has taken up the matter with the BCCI.
Worried about the potential damage to the FIFA approved World class Football turf in Kochi. Urge the KCA to take the right decision where cricket (Thiruvananthapuram) and Football (Kochi) can happily coexist. pic.twitter.com/rs5eZmhFDP— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 20, 2018
The Kerala Football Association and football fans in the state have expressed concern over the move by the KCA to host the cricket match at the Kochi stadium, which is also home to the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters FC, co-owned by Tendulkar.
Earlier, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said the association's move was "suspect". The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he has already spoken to Rai against the KCA's "bizarre" decision to transfer a ODI match from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi.
Spoke to CoA Chief VinodRai to denounce Kerala Cricket Assn's bizarre decision to transfer the India-WI ODI from a match-ready Trivandrum stadium to Kochi, whose ground was last used for the U17 Football World Cup. He has promised to review the matter. KCA motives highly suspect— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 19, 2018
Kerala Blasters team member Iain Hume expressed dismay over the move, saying it was upsetting. "I understand there is lot of cricket in India. But I also understand that there is lot of football in Kerala".
Another Blasters key player CK Vineeth said the Jawaharlal Stadium in Kochi is one of six in India that are approved by FIFA, a certification that will take immense effort to obtain again.
The JN Stadium is one of only six in India that are FIFA approved,a certification that will take immense effort to obtain again. When India has been known for being a 'cricket crazy' nation, is it really necessary to dig up a football pitch to play a cricket match? #SaveKochiTurf— CK Vineeth (@ckvineeth) March 19, 2018
This picture was clicked two years ago, at a time when over a hundred workers came in for days on end. I have never met any of them, and could never thank them for what they continue to do, but I must implore the authorities that their work is not thrown away.— CK Vineeth (@ckvineeth) March 19, 2018
(With inputs from PTI)