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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Delhi ‘poor’ air quality may affect games

The Greenpeace report comes on a day the national capital recorded ‘poor’ air quality for the second consecutive day. The NGO claims high pollution levels may “reduce” the quality of football to be played during the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 06, 2017 11:35 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,Football
The high pollution levels may “reduce” the quality of football to be played during the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017. (Twitter/ footballinall‏ )

A day before the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off in Delhi, environment NGO Greenpeace said on Thursday the level of coarse air pollutants PM10 “far exceeded” the safe levels in the host cities of the tournament last October.

The Greenpeace report came on a day the national capital recorded ‘poor’ air quality for the second consecutive day. The NGO claimed high level of PM10 may “reduce” the quality of football played during the tournament.

According to the report, in October 2016, the average levels of PM10 - coarse particulates measuring less than 10 microns in diameter - were 304 and 100 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3) in Delhi and Mumbai.

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The 24-hour average prescribed standard of PM10 is 100 and the annual prescribed average is 60.

Delhi will co-host the FIFA U-17 World Cup with Mumbai, Kochi, Margao (Goa), Guwahati and Kolkata.

“PM10 level on October 6 last year in Delhi was 234µg/m3, and 320µg/m3 on October 16 (when Delhi hosts the last tournament match this year).

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Urine density tests to ensure Chile can combat heat)

“These values are over 4 times and 6 times above the World Health Organisation’s limits of 50µg/m3 over a 24-hour period, and over 2 and 3 times above India’s PM10 standards of 100µg/m3 (over a 24 hour period),” a Greenpeace India statement said.

Greenpeace executive Sunil Dahiya said such levels of air pollution could also reduce the quality of football played at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“According to a study by the German League, football matches that take place during periods of heavy air pollution are played more slowly. The study also found that health impacts are strongest when PM10 concentration is above 50µg/m3 and when players have fewer than five rest days between matches,” he said.

Last month, in a series of meetings the Supreme Court- monitored Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority had expressed concern over a possible spike in pollution levels during the world cup and had directed concerned agencies to take preventive measures.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 22:56 IST