Aiming to settle the differences between the Kerala Cricket Association and Kerala Football Association over sharing of office at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, the Greater Cochin Development Authority is considering the option of providing separate offices for the two.
The move assumes significance as the national bodies of football and cricket, the All-India Football Federation and the Board of Control for Cricket in India respectively, are keen to allot more top class matches to Kochi.
In effect, it would mean that the KFA and KCA office-bearers would have to spend a greater amount of time in the months ahead, working from the JN Stadium. The fact that the dynamics of the two popular games are essentially different lends itself to the validity of the move.
For cricket, given the dimensions of the all-important wicket in the centre, the north and south ends of the stadium provide the best viewing space. For football, the best viewing experience is from the sides of the ground - either the east-end or the west-end. Therefore, the VIP, official and the corporate seating arrangements also vary.
Currently, the pavilion and the media box for football at the western side are not in tune with the status of the GCDA-owned stadium as an international venue. “The vantage points for the two games are distinct from one another,” GCDA chairman N Venugopal told City Express.
“For cricket, the main area comes at the north and south ends, but for football, it is to the sides. Accordingly, we are thinking of accommodating both the KCA and the KFA offices at separate places. The main entrance to the stadium could also be varied depending on which game is being played. The GCDA wants both cricket and football to develop simultaneously at the JN Stadium. The final decision will be taken after a meeting with KCA and KFA officials.”
Under the current arrangement, one association has to make way for the other while one particular game is being staged. Exactly how GCDA proposes to make space for a new office remains to be seen.