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Pollution cloud hovers over Delhi Dynamos vs Jamshedpur FC ISL match

New Delhi’s air pollution levels have already affected other sports and coaches of both Indian Super League (ISL) sides Delhi Dynamos and Jamshedpur FC have had to bear the brunt of the poor air quality ahead of their match at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

indian super league 2017 Updated: Dec 05, 2017 23:50 IST
Shayne Dias
Shayne Dias
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ISL 2017-18,Indian SUper League,ISL
A player of the Indian Super League (ISL) team, Delhi Dynamos, trains at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium wearing a pollution mask during a smog spell in New Delhi (file pic).(HT Photo)

The severe air pollution in New Delhi has affected life in the capital and is also having a drastic impact on sporting events in the city.

The Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) went ahead despite warnings of poor air quality. The third Test between India and Sri Lanka has also been affected, with some Sri Lanka cricket team members suffering from nausea and vomiting due to exposure to the smog.

The Indian Super League (ISL) match between Delhi Dynamos FC and Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Wednesday, in all likelihood, will also be played at a time when the levels of particulate matter in the air is beyond the critical mark.

Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal expressed concern about air pollution during the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“Pollution is a very big problem not just for us but society in general,” he replied, when quizzed on the severe pollution the players would be exposed to. “My players have to train with masks so that they face no health issues. I removed my own mask before entering this room.”

However, the coach doesn’t think the venue for the home matches of Dynamos would be changed.

“I think we shall continue to play in New Delhi,” he said.

Jamshedpur FC manager Steve Coppell took a dimmer view on the matter, stating that it is a problem that needs to be addressed soon – even if it means shifting games getting shifted to another venue.

“It’s déjà vu for me, really. It was around Diwali last year that I came to Delhi with the Kerala Blasters and the particulate level was over 500,” said Coppell. “I said at the time after the game that I don’t think matches should be scheduled at this point of the year.”

“For the last three years I’ve been in Delhi at this time of the year, I’ve seen the exact same commentary about doing something about it and nothing has happened,” he added.

Coppell seemed to be in favour of shifting the match to another venue if possible.

“If given the choice, I would prefer to play somewhere else in better conditions. Common sense must prevail,” said the coach from England.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 22:09 IST