The FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 turned out to be a milestone event as it became the most attended tournament ever. The Salt Lake Stadium here has recorded the highest attendance per match. The venue has so far logged a total of 6,08,809 spectators from 11 games, at a staggering average of 55,346 per match. The stadium has a total capacity of 66.600.
With 66,684 spectators turning up to watch the final between England and Spain at the stadium here, the total attendance at the six host venues across the country logged 13,471,43, which is 116,167 more than the earlier record attendance of 1,230,976 set in the first edition of the tournament in China in 1985. The most attendance record was already reached during the third place play-off match between Brazil and Mali earlier in the day, which had attracted 56,432 spectators.
“I have come all the way from Delhi to watch the match and was lucky enough to manage the tickets. It was an awesome experience. The love for football is unique in Kolkata,” Ajay Jha, who works for a paint company in Jaipur, told The Sunday Express. Uday Shankar Mishra, a retired bank manager, said it was great to see England make a comeback from 0-2.
“England came from behind and won the match. They were 0-2 down and suddenly won the match 5-2. Watching two aggressive teams was a great experience. My father was a huge football fan and and I have great memories,” he added. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the venue and took part in the award ceremony. Talking about the special arrangements made for football fans, Principal Secretary (transport) Alapan Bandopadhyay, said, “Motor Vehicles Inspectors from the state Transport department were deployed in uniform at Milan Mela and other bus terminals. This kind of event demands more disciplined conduct from public servants. We are happy that people appreciated our efforts,” he said.
WITH PTI inputs