The Local Organising Committee of FIFA U-17 World Cup today asserted that Kochi is on its way to complete preparation work by May 15, rubbishing speculations that the venue could be dropped.
Tournament Director Javier Ceppi said, “The state government of Kerala has put massive human resources to make sure that all deadlines are met.
“The amount of progress since the FIFA inspection has been quite positive and we are satisfied and confident that Kochi will be able to meet the deadline.”
FIFA’s inspection team had last month expressed “deep concern” over the pace of work at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, one of the six venues selected to host matches in the U-17 World Cup later this year, and set May 15 as deadline for completing work.
Ceppi, however, said things are headed in the right direction.
“At the moment, there are hundreds of workers in the stadium and other hundreds on the training sites. The amount of progress since the FIFA inspection has been quite positive and we are satisfied and confident that Kochi will be able to meet the deadline.”
The tournament director has got assurance from the state government.
“Also, the stadium owners have already given the assurance that the shops around the stadium will be closed which is extremely important for us. We certainly feel that now Kochi is in a good path and we hope that they keep up the good work that has been done since the FIFA visit.
“We are even starting to work with other departments such as police to go deep into the operational planning and the state government has already initiated the process for signing the host city logo so we think all the right steps are being taken to ensure the status of Kochi as a venue.”
A team of 21 members of FIFA and the LOC carried out the inspection last month.