KARACHI: The game of football is gaining popularity among the youth of the country because of the live telecast of matches of La Liga, UEFA Premier League, Serie A, but the KMC football stadium, the most prominent place in Pakistani football history, remains in a dilapidated condition owing to the negligence of the authorities concerned.
The two previous elected city governments and before themother administrations failed to improve the condition of the building of the stadium. The present KMC (Karachi Municipal Corporation) administration has also failed to do anything. It is the only stadium in the country where more than 1000 international and national level domestic football matches have been played.
KMC senior sports director Reehan Khan, when contacted, said that he had directed sports department director Ziauddin Sabir to visit the place and submit a complete report about the condition of the stadium. He said that the report is near completion and when it comes to his office he will forward it to the KMC administrator with full recommendation of its development.
“There is no ambiguity the KMC football stadium will be renovated and KMC sports department considers the stadiuma crown in the KMC, which has a unique history in sports; we are committed to maintain and renovate it,” he said.
He claimed that the present administration is giving due importance to sport activities in the city and necessary development work. He added a comprehensive KMC sports policy would soon be unveiled whereby a number of sports competitions would be organised for the youth of the city.
Local football experts said that without proper maintenance various parts of the stadium’s structure could collapse, especially the VIP gallery where plaster of various sides of walls, under the stairs and floors is falling down rapidly.
It was also learnt that the majority of shop owners located either under the stairs of the stadium or alongside the outer wall have encroached space within the stadium. “Due to the occupation, the foundations of the walls have weakened, which may cause a collapse,” a source said.
There are 115 shops under the building structure of the stadium. It is the place where Pakistan has played more than 100 international matches and teams of Russia, Iran, China, Turkey, Kuwait, Korea, Japan, Germany and USA have played here. Besides, it is the place where football activity continues for at least 10 months in a year, 12 hours every day. The ground remains open from 7am in the morning till 10pm in the evening for any department or club to train or play matches.
A source said CDGK high-ups have taken notice of the dilapidated condition of the building and conducted a survey. The stadium has capacity for more than 25,000 spectators and it is always full whenever an international or domestic football match takes place.