Fresh efforts to end Kanteerava impasse

It is learnt that a prominent city-based MLA approached Karnataka Athletics Association officials on Saturday to persuade them to drop their tough stand against footballing activities in the stadium.

Bengaluru FC team training at Sree Kanteerava Stadium. (File Photo)   -  K. Murali Kumar

Fresh efforts are on to strike a deal that will allow Bengaluru FC, the reigning ISL champion, continued access to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium for its Indian Super League (ISL) matches.

It is learnt that a prominent city-based MLA and builder belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  approached Karnataka Athletics Association officials on Saturday to persuade them to drop their tough stand against footballing activities in the stadium.

It is also understood that a representative from JSW, the owner of BFC, was also present.

The move comes less than a month after the Karnataka High Court observed that the previous agreement enabling BFC to play its home matches at the stadium was contrary to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court on use of playgrounds, and ordered an enquiry.

The Court however accepted an undertaking by the State government that it would follow a transparent process if any lease or stadium-sharing arrangement was carried out in future.

The Athletics Association though remained unmoved and reiterated its long-held position. “We made it clear that this stadium should be for athletics only,” a senior official who attended the meeting told Sportstar.

“They asked us to allow football for a few more years till a new stadium can be built. But our view will not change. It’s getting very tough for our athletes to practise. BFC have such a big campus in Ballari. They can easily move there.”