Elite level football needs to return to Delhi, pollution a concern: Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri (Photo: Twitter)

By Rohit Mundayur

New Delhi– India and Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri said that it is not right that no football club represents Delhi in this year’s Indian Super League (ISL) or I-League. He also said that the pollution level in the national capital is a matter of concern and needs to be rectified.

Delhi Dynamos, which was the franchise that was based in the national capital, shifted their operations to Bhubaneswar before the start of the current ISL season and now play as Odisha FC.

“If you see any top footballing nation, the capital is the hub. It has to be,” said Chhetri on the sidelines of the third edition of Herbalife Nutrition’s Fit Families Fest 2019.

“We do have interest for football in Delhi. Why they (Delhi Dynamos) went to Odisha is something only they can answer. But whatever it is, we have to get an ISL or I-League club or a second league club from Delhi,” he said.

Chhetri, who spent his formative years in the national capital, also rued the fact that the city’s air becomes an impediment for sports to be played at this time of the year.

“It does bother us. When we come to Delhi, and now I come very rarely, we do feel irritation in our eyes. Some of the foreign players do wear masks. I don’t know if that is based on something that they have heard about the city or their actual experience but they do that. We tend to not come to Delhi two days before the match but one day before, so that we can have less days here.

“All of us have to come together and think how we rectify this. This is the city where I was brought up. It’s a lovely city and I just hope things get under control,” he expressed.

In the days following Diwali night, Delhi’s air quality level has plunged to ‘very poor’ and ‘severe.’ As on Wednesday, the city’s air quality index was 422, indicating a deterioration in quality as compared to previous days.(IANS)


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