Dasmunsi defends poor ground facilities for AFC Cup

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (UNI) Downplaying the claims of poor ground facilities during the ongoing AFC Challenge Cup, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Priyaranjan Dasmunsi today said, with the resources at hand, the governing body has put its best possible foot forward to host the tournament.

''I am neither totally satisfied nor disappointed with the organisation. I believe the facilities still need to be improved.

It is just the beginning. We were given a task to host it in difficult conditions and I think we have done it in the best possible manner,'' Dasmunsi told mediapersons here.

Earlier on Sunday, India and Turmenistan had to play each other in a water soaked ground at Gachibowli in Hyderabad, which brought huge criticisms for the organisers.

India coach Bob Houghton had expressed disappointment over the facilities available for his wards after which the practice venue had to be shifted.

The venue of the tournament, too, had to be shifted twice because of the poor playing conditions. With heavy downpour, the grounds at both the Lal Bahadur Stadium and Gachibowli Stadium became slushy.

''We do not have our own ground. Most of the grounds in the country are owned by corporate trusts. This is one area we are focussing on. We are negotiating with corporate houses and hopefully by next year we will have our own grounds,'' he said.

The AIFF president also expressed his satisfaction over Indian team's performance in the AFC Cup where the hosts have reached the semi-finals.

''I am very happy with the performance of the team and I hope we would qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup,'' he concluded.

UNI RAR PY VC1815

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