Starting on its 7-day inspection tour to the 6 host cities of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 across India, a 21-member strong FIFA and LOC Delegation visited Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to assess the progress of preparations for the tournament.
Present at the event were Jaime Yarza, FIFA Head of Tournaments, Inderjit Singh Dhamija, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sanjiv Baranwal, Director (Infra) Sports Authority of India, Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director, LOC FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and Joy Bhattacharjya, Project Director, LOC, FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Placing emphasis on the preparations, Yarza added, “There has been some work which has gone on to the stadium and that is very commendable. However, now that the tournament is less than 200 days away, work needs to gather pace, especially at the training sites.
“I’ve been told that Delhi has had problems with attracting crowds for football. I’m hoping the first ever FIFA tournament in the city changes that”.
Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi added, “There has been a fair amount of work and improvement in Delhi since the last FIFA visit. We are very thankful to the Sports Authority of India for all the work that has been put into the renovations of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the two training grounds”.
Expanding on the training sites for the tournament in the capital, he added, “We’re appreciative of Delhi University for agreeing to be our training site. We’re also very happy to confirm that Sudeva FC will be the fourth training ground in Delhi. There is still some work that is happening but we are confident that with the support of Sports Authority of India, it will be able to be completed very shortly”.
New Delhi was ratified as a venue for the first FIFA event in the country, the FIFA U-17 World Cup, back in October 2016. The delegation will continue its inspection visit to the 5 remaining ratified host cities with Goa as the next stop, followed by Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Guwahati and Kolkata.