GCDA to discuss Nehru Stadium issue with KCA, KFA and Kerala Blasters

The KCA, which had taken the stadium on a 30-year lease from GCDA in August 2014, has not been able to use the ground for cricket after the 2017 FIFA U-17 WC.

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With KCA writing to GCDA that it wants the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium back for international & domestic cricket matches, the GCDA has decided to call various stakeholders of the stadium for a discussion.   -  H.Vibhu

With the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) writing to the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) that it wants the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium back for international and domestic matches, the GCDA has decided to call the various stakeholders of the stadium for a discussion.

The KCA had taken the stadium, which has hosted many ODI cricket matches and also international football, on a 30-year lease from its guardian GCDA in August 2014 but it has not been able to use the ground for cricket after the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup and it is now Kerala Blasters' home base in the Indian Super League.

The KCA now feels that it is time to get the MoU with the GCDA, in which the Kerala Football Association (KFA) is also a signatory, working in its favour again. And V. Salim, the GCDA Chairman, is all for it too.

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“Our desire is to have all sports happening at the (Nehru) stadium. We should go forward with mutual understanding, this is a good stadium and it should be useful for everybody,” Salim told Sportstar on Tuesday evening.

“We have to sit down with the KCA, the KFA and Kerala Blasters and discuss the issue. We plan to do this after the coronavirus issue settles down.”

There could be many contentious issues when the meeting takes place. The KCA feels that its turf wickets which were removed for the FIFA U-17 World Cup should be restored when it gets the stadium back.

“I think we had five wickets there and if we want to lay them again, it will cost us anything between Rs 40 to 60 lakh,” said Sreejith V. Nair, the KCA secretary.

“It is the responsibility of the football association or whoever is using the stadium to give back the ground and the wickets to us in the same condition they were taken...it is there in the agreement. And after the under-17 World Cup football, the Kerala Blasters club has been conducting ISL matches at the stadium,” said Nair.

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