FIFA funds football ground in small Indian state

The world football body FIFA has granted US$ 400,000 to the Sikkim Football Association for construction of a football pitch and a training centre at Gangtok under the Goal Project II scheme. Bhaichung Bhutia, who gave the small Indian state an identity both at the national and international levels, feels that the absence of football grounds has been the main hurdle in Sikkim’s path. "Besides the Palzor Stadium in Gangtok, where are the grounds? We need a couple of more where kids can train and play," Bhaichung told Times of India.

SFA President Tempo Bhutia said construction work is moving in the right direction. "Projects have been undertaken to ensure that the state produces more talent like Bhaichung. The government is keen to spread football in rural areas where camps for U-12 boys are being organised," he said. The Sikkim government, in order to fast track the project, has already donated four acres at Sichey near Indira Bypass, where construction will soon begin. Apart from that, FIFA has also laid emphasis on the construction of a football house below Norkhill Hotel. "The construction work is likely to be completed within one-and-half year," said Tempo.