Joker of Year – Kalmadi – FIFA World Cup in India

25 December, 2009 at 12:56 2 comments

Sometimes an article comes along that is just worth spreading such as “Kalmadi Kicks up a Laugh Riot” in DC today accompanied by nice little image and fact-file…

    Say what you may about Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, one thing can’t be denied; The 65-year old can make most optimistic amongst us seem like Arthur Schopenhauer. At Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Port-of-Spain, he surprised all present with his proclamation that once India successfully staged next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi the nation could soon launch a bid to host the world’s most popular sporting extravaganza – the FIFA World Cup. Ironically his promulgation was made in Trinidad and Tobago, which in 2006 became the smallest nation to ever qualify for the quadrennial showcase with a population just exceeding one million. The closest India, with a population of over a billion, have come to gracing world football’s biggest stage was in 1950 when it qualified for the World Cup held in Brazil but were eventually unable to compete as the team played barefoot. Cutting to the ground reality, Kalmadi ignored probably the most important element to host a football World Cup – the infrastructure.

    FIFA sets a minimum requirement of 12 stadiums capable of seating at least 40,000 spectators, while a stadium with a minimum capacity of 80,000 is required for the opening match and the final. At present, India has just one stadium which matches up to AFC criteria, where the minimum allowed capacity is 20,000 – the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad. The national team’s preferred home venue, the Ambedkar Stadium, which has been the sight for many a historic triumph, falls short of matching-up to AFC standards. If that doesn’t bode well, the scenario with the training facilities is even bleaker. India is so woefully short of training facilities that national team is forced to train in high school playgrounds during prestigious tournaments like AFC Challenge Cup and the Nehru Cup and has to routinely travel abroad for national camps as there are no training facilities in the country.

    National team coach Bob Houghton, more of a realist than Kalmadi, has more than once stated that before we start dreaming of qualifying for the World Cup, much less dream of hosting it, we should keep in mind that the two biggest and most historic clubs in the country – East Bengal and Mohun Bagan – don’t have their own training grounds even after over 100 years of existence. With the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups being announced together in 2011, India doesn’t have a chance at making a bid before 2026 and even so, one wonders how successful a bid from a nation which has never qualified for the World Cup would be.

    [Tweet – 20091225]: Ultimate irony that India could not compete in 1950 world cup in Brazil is that they played “barefoot” a sport called football – not, bootball. Classic

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    Entry filed under: Citizen-Journalism, CWorks, India, News-Media, Politics, Sports.

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    2 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Pharma86  |  29 December, 2009 at 19:21

      Very nice site!


    • 2. Trackback  |  3 January, 2010 at 02:10


      [..]Articulo Indexado Correctamente[..]…



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