Coimbatore to host I-League matches this season

State Minister SP Velumani (third right), and P Balakrishna Reddy (third left), Coimbatore Collector TN Hariharan (second right), Corporation Commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan (right), CCFC team owner Rohit Ramesh (second left), and CCFC CEO and co-owner R Krishnakumar (left), at the launch of team jerseys on Sunday - Photo: M Periasamy

Coimbatore, November 20

A new lease of life is being given to the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore, with the Chennai City Football Club (CCFC) shifting base to this entrepreneurial hub. Thanks to CCFC’s decision, the stadium is being refurbished and brought to life, four years ahead of its golden jubilee year.

Opened in 1971, the stadium was used mostly for football matches. It has the capacity to hold 30,000-odd spectators, but no matches were held since 2009.

With hardly 10 days left for the Hero I-League football season to begin (spread from end-November to April next), the city is gearing to host at least nine matches at the stadium. The official launch of CCFC’s jersey took place at Vivanta by Taj in Coimbatore on Sunday night.

CCFC will play its first home match against East Bengal on December 23, said Rohit Ramesh, Owner, CCFC. Football fans will also get to see some of the top teams such as Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, Minerva FC, Indian Arrows, Gokulam FC and Aizwal in action here, he added.

On his decision to shift base, Ramesh said, “Primarily, we wanted to avoid a clash with Chennaiyin FC, an Indian Super League (ISL) football club in Chennai. We were exploring various tier-II destinations. Coimbatore was our first choice as the All India Football Federation insisted on a location with an international airport. We chose Coimbatore also because of its proximity to Kerala, which has a huge fan following for football.”

CCFC has earmarked an investment of ₹7.5 crore this season, said R Krishnakumar, its Chief Executive and co-owner.

“Out of this, ₹4 crore will be spent on upgrading the infrastructure and the remaining sum for operation of the team,” he said.

Published on November 20, 2017

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