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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Complaint against Praful Patel, Javier Ceppi in Guwahati

The complaint filed on Wednesday is also against alleged misappropriation of money generated from the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches in Guwahati

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 26, 2017 09:21 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Brazil U-17 vs England U-17,Praful Patel
A complaint has been filed against Javier Ceppi (L) and Praful Patel over shifting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-final between Brazil and England from Guwahati to Kolkata.(AIFF)

An Assam youth organisation has lodged a police complaint against tournament director of the FIFA U-17 World Cup’s Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi, as well as All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel and others for shifting Wednesday’s Brazil-England semi-final from Guwahati to Kolkata.

The complaint filed on Wednesday is also against alleged misappropriation of money generated from the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches in Guwahati.

“Guwahati was denied a highprofile match because of a conspiracy,” the complaint lodged by the parishad’s publicity secretary Dharma Kanta Gogoi said.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: ‘Dream come true’ for Rhian Brewster as England reach final

“Pabitra Ram Khaund, Assam’s director of sports said Fifa took control of the football pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in May. So it was Fifa’s responsibility to ensure the best playing conditions,” the complaint read.

Gogoi said Patel had during the rain-affected Mali-Ghana quarter-final match on October 21 brushed aside worries about the condition of the pitch and assured FIFA would prepare it for the semi-final.

“Something suspicious happened and the match was shifted to Kolkata, which experienced simultaneously with Guwahati. Patel misled football fans in Assam because the organisers did not want to lose money collected from them,” the complaint said.

Accusing Ceppi of fiscal indiscipline and “plotting the conspiracy” of shifting the match out of Guwahati, the youth organisation also held state government officials responsible for the pitch debacle that denied fans the opportunity to watch two top international teams in action.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Spain beat Mali 3-1 to set up historic all-European final

“Through this complaint, we urge you (police) to ensure the fans are compensated beyond the face value of the tickets they purchased,” the complaint said.

FIFA’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) had set October 24 and 25 as dates for refunding customers who had bought tickets in cash. But very few turned up on the two days, mainly because ticket-holders would have to spend Rs 200-250 in transportation to collect money for two categories of tickets priced Rs 200 and Rs 400.

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, in Sarusajai area on the south-western edge of the city, is about 15 km from the city centre.

The bulk of the tickets were, however, sold online. FIFA LOC members said price of the tickets purchased online would be transferred to the accounts of the customers from October 28 to November 11.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 09:15 IST