India should not have bid for Commonwealth Games: Bhaichung

August 4th, 2010 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Indian soccer captain Bhaichung Bhutia Wednesday asserted that the country should not have bid for the Commonwealth Games saying that the existing infrastructure was inadequate for hosting an event of such magnitude.
“I don’t think it was a good idea to host the Games at this stage. If you look at the infrastructure we have at present, it will only show we are not ready for it,” Bhutia told mediapersons here.

Bhutia attacked the central government for bidding for the Games without making substantial effort to improve the nation’s sports infrastructure.

“The focus of the authorities should have been on improving the infrastructure. Youngsters should have been provided more opportunities like being sent abroad for training. But instead they decided to bid for the Games,” Bhutia said.

Citing examples, Bhutia said the only soccer stadium in Delhi was the Ambedkar stadium. “When we go to Delhi, and need some practice, if the Ambedkar stadium is not available, we have to do without a proper venue.

“Similarly, in Kolkata, there is only one synthetic athletic track at the Salt Lake stadium.

“Even in hockey, there are not many Astroturfs in our country. Even a country like Malaysia is better placed to host the Games,” Bhutia said.

At the same time the footballer stressed that every effort should be made now to ensure the Games were a success.

However, he commented that the opening and closing ceremonies should not become Filmfare or IIFA Awards-like events. “We have a rich culture which should be projected before the assembled guests,” he added.

Turning to soccer, Bhutia said the Asian Cup 2011 could take Indian football to a new era. “We will get a chance to play World Cup teams like Australia, South Korea and North Korea.

“I think it’s the right time to experiment. If the experimentation succeeds, Indian football will gain. Otherwise, we will have to start all over again.”

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