The semifinal clash of the U-17 World Cup between Brazil and England has been shifted from Guwahati to Kolkata due to poor pitch conditions. After a thorough assessment of the pitch conditions at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, FIFA decided to move the venue of the semi-final, due to be played on 25 October 2017, to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Expressing disappointment over the turn of events, FIFA issued a statement saying, “The decision has been taken to safeguard the players’ health and to ensure the best playing conditions. Despite the great efforts by all involved parties, including the authorities of Guwahati, to preserve the pitch, FIFA took the call after consultations with both teams. However, due to this change, the second semi-final on the day, between Mali and Spain, will not witness any change and kick off as per schedule in Navi Mumbai.”
“Fans with a valid ticket for the semi-final originally planned to take place in Guwahati will be able to request a refund for the purchase value of their tickets, and also will have priority access to purchase tickets for the semi-final in Kolkata.”
“FIFA and LOC regret that unforeseen circumstances have led to this decision, which will deprive football fans in Guwahati of this semi-final encounter. Both FIFA and the LOC would like to sincerely thank the city of Guwahati and the state government of Assam for their excellent cooperation throughout the competition.”