Mizoram FA gets artificial turf as part of FIFA project

MUMBAI: The north-eastern belt in India received a football boost in
the form of an artificial turf surface in Mizoram, as part of world
football body FIFA’s Forward Project. The green rectangle, located at
Sairang Dinthar area off the national highway and inaugurated on
March 8, is funded by the world body. The installation was
done by Mumbai-based Acosa Sports Infrastructure Services. Mizoram
Sports Minister, Mr Robert Royte, did the unveiling.

Mr Lalnghinglova Hmar, the Mizoram Football Association (MFA)
Secretary, informed that the newly-installed turf, located in an area
carved out of rocky terrain, was the first ground which the state
association can call its own. “It was a big day for Mizoram and
north-east football. Even though this is a place where the sport is
very popular in our state, the association did not have a ground of
our own. Now we have got there thanks to the efforts of many,
especially the government of Mizoram.”

The artificial surface is called SuperBlade, other facets of the
facility includes 111×74 metres area covered by turf, 105x68m playing
area. The main goalposts, two additional mobile goalposts, substitutes
bench were provided by FIFA. It also arranged for a tractor to
maintain the artificial grass and maintainence equipment. “No European
installation persons could travel to India for the past 14 months, so
Acosa handled the entire installation,“ informed Deepak Khanolkar,
Founder-Director of Acosa.

According to Mr Hmar, the ground is about 300 metres away from the
national highway. The state government has been approached to build an
approach road till the picturesque site. “The successive state
governments here have been pro-active in promotion of football. We
have brought the Sports Minister’s attention to the matter and he
promised to initiate action. In the north-east, it is not easy to have
a ground with easy road access. We will make it, as this is a heavy
monsoon area and an approach road is necessary.”

The Sairlang Dithar turf unveiling was attended by Prince Rufus,
FIFA’s Development Officer for South Asia, besides former Mizoram
footballers, MFA and district delegates. AIFF Secretary-General,
Kushal Das, stated in a message: “The FIFA Forward programme, which
the AIFF has granted to the Mizoram FA, will go a long way in
providing an additional practise base for the stars of the future. The
AIFF is indebted to FIFA for their help and support to Indian

Mizoram Sports Minister, Mr Royte, said: “We will ensure that proper
ground are laid in every district headquarters and sub-division
headquarters. The demand for artificial turfs might not be visible to
some, it is an objective for us to build football grounds without
prompting additional strain on the state finances. We have a target of
24 artificial turs in Mizoram, which will be a record in India.”

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