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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

‘FIFA U-17 World Cup in India could be one of most watched editions of all-time’

The FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place from October 6 to 28. The Indian team has been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana.

football Updated: Aug 08, 2017 16:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held from October 6 to 28. All of India’s group games will take place in New Delhi.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held from October 6 to 28. All of India’s group games will take place in New Delhi. (Twitter/IndianFootball)

The number-crunching is far from done and sale of tickets nowhere near completion but a top official connected with the under-17 World Cup said he is confident that this could be one of the most watched editions of all time‎.

“The edition that could give us competition ‎is Mexico (2011). Then, we had 70,000 watching the final at the Azteca stadium but, of course, Mexico was playing. And remember you are talking about a strong football nation,” said Joy Bhattacharjya, project director, local organising committee, of the under-17 World Cup, here on Tuesday.

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup: New Delhi all but prepared to host India’s feel-good story)

Mexico became the first host nation to win the under-17 World Cup. The total attendance, according to figures available on the Internet, was 1,002, 314 or 19,275 per match.‎ That has been the second-highest turnout in this biennial competition after 19,781 in Egypt in 1997.

In 2013, the average attendance was 6,117 per match and in 2015, it was ‎9,279. In the 2009 edition held in Nigeria, the turnout was 14,977 per match.

(Read | India’s FIFA U-17 World Cup team plays 1-1 draw vs Chile in four-nation event)

Though the details of ticket sales so far were not available, it has already been mentioned that all tickets released so far for the final, in Kolkata on October 28, have been sold out. On the two occasions season tickets were released, those allocated for Kolkata got sold out in hours.

Bhattacharjya also said the response in New Delhi has picked up once it got known that India would be playing there.

“Seen filling the stadium (in New Delhi) may not be a problem but we would really want those who would want to watch India live at a football World Cup to come,” he said.

The response to the October 6-28 World Cup so far has also shown that Indians are open to the idea of buying tickets for a sporting event well in advance if given the opportunity, said Bhattacharjya. This is something other sporting events could replicate, he said.

First Published: Aug 08, 2017 16:35 IST

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