FIFA U-17 World Cup: Organisers yet to decide on venue of India’s group matches
Amid reports, quoting FIFA’s head of tournaments Jamie Yarza, that they are set to shift India’s matches from Navi Mumbai to New Delhi, the October 6-28 FIFA U-17 World Cup’s tournament director Javier Ceppi said they are yet to receive any communication from FIFA regarding it.football Updated: Jun 29, 2017 19:40 IST
The FIFA Under-17 World Cup is less than 100 days away but there is no confirmation still on where the home team will play its group stage matches.
Amid reports, quoting FIFA’s head of tournaments Jamie Yarza, that FIFA is set to shift India’s matches from Navi Mumbai to New Delhi, the October 6-28 U-17 World Cup’s tournament director Javier Ceppi said they are yet to receive any communication from FIFA regarding it. He added the confirmation of the venues will happen before the official draw on July 7.
“I saw the comments of Mr. Yarza. That (shifting India’s matches) is not something that is confirmed. Until we have an official confirmation we can’t say anything on the issue,” Ceppi told HT.
“The facts are known to everybody. The AIFF, after a request from Indian government, have asked FIFA whether India’s matches can be played in Delhi. FIFA is analysing the request. An official announcement is likely to come before the draw of the event (July 7).”
On Tuesday, Yarza neither confirmed nor denied that India’s matches will be shifted from Navi Mumbai to New Delhi. Navi Mumbai, according to the current schedule, is hosting Group A matches while New Delhi is hosting Group B matches. Normally, the host team is placed in Group A.
Yarza said they are looking into the Indian government’s request seriously.
“We are working on the most beneficial decision for the tournament. We take the requests from the Indian Government very seriously, as it’s our main partner in the organisation of the FIFA U-17 World Cup,” he said.
Ceppi said that though Kolkata and Guwahati have seen huge interest in ticket sales in the first phase, Delhi and Goa might see more interest after the official draw.
“We feel that there are certain venues which are dependent on the teams that are going to play there (for ticket sales) rather than the football that will be played. We are hoping that after the draw the ticket sales will pick up in Goa and Delhi,” he said.
If Indian team’s matches are played in New Delhi, then the interest from fans is likely to rise.
Vacant sponsor spots
The organisers are also hoping that all the sponsor slots are filled up well ahead of the tournament start.
“We have a new sponsor coming in. We already have two. In all, we have six spots, so we have three spots remaining. There is a lot of interest and hopefully they will get filled up,” Ceppi insisted.