State govt gear up with 30cr investment

Funds to be used for refurbishment and preparations

State govt gear up with 30cr investment
The main pitch at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex

Shri Om Prakash Bakoria, Commissioner, Directorate of Sports and Youth Services, Maharashtra, has provided key infrastructural updates regarding the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and rallied for collective effort in the lead up to Asia’s premier women’s national team competition which kicks off on 20 January 2022.

Mr Bakoria thanked all key stakeholders while reserving special gratitude for the Maharashtra government for sanctioning a sum total of Rs 30 crore in order to refurbish and modernize facilities that will be used by Asia’s best teams.

“I would like to thank the AFC and the AIFF for giving Maharashtra the opportunity to host the prestigious AFC Women’s Asian Cup. We are working to our fullest potential to make sure the event is a grand success. The Maharashtra government has sanctioned around Rs 30 crore to upgrade infrastructure and organise this mega event,” Mr Bakoria said.

Talking about the changes happening in the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune, Mr Bakoria said, “In Pune, we are working on the main pitch apart from developing two practice pitches within the stadium premises. We are also completely revamping the facilities within the stadium. A new set of floodlights with LED panels are being installed to illuminate the main pitch.

“One of the practice pitches within the stadium premises will also have floodlights with LED panels. The other practice pitch will be installed with floodlights from the main pitch that are being replaced. Apart from these, every other facility such as dressing rooms, hospitality areas, referee rooms, media tribune and more are being revamped. In short, we are making this stadium one of the most beautiful ones in the country,” Mr Bakoria added.

These facilities, Mr Bakoria believes, will aid in furthering the sporting culture of the state and a tournament of the magnitude of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ will also accelerate growth for women’s football, towards which the AIFF is paying special attention.

“Maharashtra is among the best performing states in India in terms of sports and there is a strong sporting culture here. Add to that an event such as the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™, the women and girls of our country will stand inspired. A major impact of milestone events is that parents encourage their kids to play sport. We are also providing opportunities for girls to play and then there is the platform provided to our women by the tournament to showcase their talent and skills,” noted Mr Bakoria.

He also provided a key insight into the importance of collective effort and concluded by welcoming all participating teams to India for the continental competition which will be held across three venues in Maharashtra, namely Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.

“Success is not an isolated effort. It is about the collective effort of all stakeholders. We have to come forward together as governments, associations, clubs, parents, teachers and every other contributor. Only then can we become a sporting nation in its truest sense.

“As for the participating nations, every team is our guest and they are most welcome in India, especially Maharashtra,” Mr Bakoria concluded.  

The final of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 202 will be played on 6th February 2022.