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KCA retracts decision to dig JLN Stadium up, rebukes Sachin Tendulkar for showing support

KCA retracts decision to dig JLN Stadium up, rebukes Sachin Tendulkar for showing support

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Published: 22 March 2018 1:33 PM GMT
If you are remotely active on social media, the #SaveKochiTurf campaign has probably featured on your newsfeed once. What began as fans rallying to save a beloved ground that recently acted as a host venue for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, soon snowballed into a nationwide protest. The campaign found support from a number of icons, including the likes of MP Shashi Tharoor and writer N.S. Madhavan. After remaining silent for two days, Kerala Blasters owner Sachin Tendulkar also tweeted, showing his concerns for the home turf of his team. He tweeted,"Worried about the potential damage to the FIFA approved World class Football turf in Kochi. Urge the KCA to take the right decision where cricket (Thiruvananthapuram) and Football (Kochi) can happily coexist." Shashi Tharoor, one of the first to take the cause up, went a step further and asked cricket fans to assemble for a candlelight march as a mark of protest. Along with that a word from Sachin, accompanied by support from the likes of Sunil Chhetri, CK Vineeth and so on, the Kerala Cricket Association retracted their decision to dig the FIFA approved turf up in order to conduct one single ODI. Image result for JLN stadium kochi
However, the KCA made it quite clear that the decision to host the match in Trivandrum was most definitely a temporary one and that the JLN Stadium would most certainly host cricket matches in the future. What came as a bit of a surprise is that in spite of so many people raising their voices to safeguard the turf, including other cricketers like Sourav Ganguly and Sreesanth, the KCA chose to single out Sachin Tendulkar to direct their rebuke at. KCA Secretary, Jayesh George scorned the Master Blaster saying that Sachin has no idea on how to prepare or maintain a pitch. He further said that Sachin's stand on using the Kaloor stadium only for football matches is because he owns the Kerala Blasters team. Why exactly is that a fault, is beyond comprehension though. The decision to dig the turf up and the decision to not do so will soon be forgotten. What will not be forgotten is the manner in which football fans in India pulled their socks up and showed the power of the people. Without the #SaveKochiTurf campaign that was started by fans, none of the icons would have spoken up and cricket would have walked all over the stadium, with football dying a silent death. It seems that when they said that India has arrived, with respect to the fans, it was not a loose comment. The U17 slogan #FootballTakesOver probably sounded louder in the last three days, than ever before. Also read: As Kerala Blasters players speak up to save Kochi Turf, owner Sachin Tendulkar chooses silence
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