A football complex with artificial turf and flood lighting as per standards set by FIFA was inaugurated at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Sports Club, off Old Airport Road, on Wednesday evening.
The facility was developed by HAL to promote grassroots football in Bengaluru. "The aim is to spot and develop players of exceptional calibre and prepare them to be professional players for the tough domestic and international tournaments and provide the right kind of infrastructure that matches the international standardsâ€ť, VM Chamola, Director (HR), HAL said.
The facility was inaugurated by former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia. Players from the Baichung Bhutia Football School (BBFS) are set to train at the facility.
The football complex within the HAL Sports Club also has a full size natural grass ground, which means that players can now train in both artificial turf and natural grass.
On Sunday, a youth football league kicked off in the newly-built sports complex. The league, organised by Belgian football consultancy company Double Pass, aims to develop football talent development systems and improve grassroots football in the city. It invited football academies based in the city to face each other in the under-14 and under-16 age categories.
HAL says that the new stadium is aimed at promoting grassroots football in the city. The facility will be used by the HAL Football Academy, which selects players from across the country for professional coaching with lodging and boarding facilities. The players have access to a gymnasium and a swimming pool inside the complex.
Before the emergence of Bengaluru FC in the last six years, HAL SC, a football club based in Bengaluru took part in the I-League, the then top-tier of Indian football in 2010. The club shared a decades-old rivalry with ITI, with matches between the two teams attended by thousands of fans.