Former athlete Reeth Abraham has alleged that football activities at the Kanteerava stadium were impeding the training activities of athletes and urged the Centre and Karnataka government to look into the matter.
“This is an urgent appeal to Karnataka Chief Minister and the Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, to resolve the matter with fairness, allowing athletes to train in Kanteerava Stadium without hindrance,” Abraham wrote in a petition posted on change.org.
“For the past three years, the stadium is being used by Bangalore Football Club, a private entity for soccer purposes,” she said.
The stadium is being remodelled to suit footballers, the Arjuna awardee alleged. The athletes also have been restricted access to the stadium and barred from training on the turf, which is used to do a lot of exercises as continuous training on synthetic track increases possibilities of injury, Abraham said.
“Karnataka, once an athletics powerhouse has lost its standing at the national level due to the insensitive and thoughtless decisions of the government sports officials,” she said. “Their only concern of late has been to generate funds rather than encourage athletes to perform better.”
Top athletes like Ashwini Nachappa, Pramila Ayappa, Kenneth Powell, Bobby George, S D Eashan, Satish Pillay as well as national coaches, in the past, had made several representations on the issue, but in vain.
The stadium is hosting Indian Super League matches this year and was previously used for Indian League and international matches.