With FIFA U-17 World Cup less than five months away, India’s concern about last-minute scramble for infrastructure completion are increasing as the hosts try to avoid the similar situation which happened in 2010 ahead of Commonwealth Games. Sports Ministry has been making sure that all the six venues — New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Margao, Kochi and Navi Mumbai — are declared fit for hosting the prestigious tournament, which is considered to trigger the condition of the sport in the country. However, giving a lot of relief to the organisers, Kochi was declared fit to host games.
“At this point of time, we are happy to say that Kochi is a World Cup venue. There would be eight matches to be played in Kochi. The core infrastructure has been completed and only those which are meant to be completed closer to the tournament are left,” tournament director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi said while declaring the venue fit for hosting league games.
Considering the safety and security of spectators, Ceppi said “The stadium is fit for accommodating 41,748 people. Not a single person more. Now we are very sure that with that capacity that this stadium can provide to the spectators safety and well being,” he said.
Ceppi also confirmed that no shops would be allowed to work inside the stadium premises during the tournament. And the organisers will make sure that the content in the shops are vacated.
“Match schedule has been finalised. I don’t know who has said that Koch was demoted. That is not the case. Kochi was always going to get eight matches,” Ceppi added.