In a bizarre incident, SAI (Sports Authority of India) which is suppose to keep the best interest of the various sports being played across the Nation choose Sallu Bhai (Dabaang hero ) over the India U19 Developmental Team.
When AIFF approached SAI to let the Indian Arrows team play in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Delhi for the I-League Season 2017-18, AIFF’s request was turned down by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), saying that it would hamper the recently laid Rye-Grass on the football pitch. With no option left, the AIFF had to move the first two I-League games of Indian Arrows to Goa. Indian Arrows is a developmental team comprising of India U17 and India U19 footballers.
The SAI Authorities certainly had a valid point because it has not even been 1 month since the grass was laid on the pitch and it requires at least 6 weeks for the grass to establish itself onto the pitch and till then any damage to the Grass (Football Pitch) makes it susceptible to irretrievable damage. And with the ISL team, Delhi Dynamos already playing their home games there at the JLN Stadium, it was wise decision from the SAI to not let any other team to play at that Stadium for the first two weeks of December.
However, the Sports Authority of India has no problem whatsoever to let an Event Management Firm, rent the Stadium for four days. The four day event would witness several Top Bollywood stars including Salman Khan and Nucleya (Music Band). The Stage would be erected on the Pitch and there will be more than 17,000 people being allowed on the Football Pitch to watch the show.
The Rye-Grass was laid onto the football pitch right after the end of U17 World Cup and the seed of the Grass was brought from USA by ProPitch, which is both looking after the Pitch and its management throughout the ISL tournament. ProPitch has sent a written warning to SAI that this Bollywood Event can cause great damage to the football pitch and requested them to not go ahead with the event.
Not just ProPitch but FSDL, Delhi Dynamos have also expressed their concern about the event that can cause heavy damage to the playing pitch.
Though the SAI Committee is saying that the Organizers have promised to use precautions like ArmorDeck (used as turf covering). Saying this, even the SAI people are not sure to what extent the organizers will take measures to protect the pitch.