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Thursday, July 19, 2018

FIFA U-17 World Cup: India shatter ‘highest attendance’ record but ‘remains 50-100 years behind the world football elite’

Sol Campbell said Indian football needs serious “catch-up” job to do as it is still 50-100 years behind the world football elite.

By: Express News Service | Updated: October 29, 2017 2:04:13 pm
The 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World in India turned out to be a milestone event as it became the most attended and the highest scoring tournament ever.  (Source: AP)

India are 50-100 years behind the world football elite, feels Sol Campbell. The former Arsenal and England centre-half is here as part of the FIFA’s Technical Study Group. Talking to reporters on Sunday, Campbell said Indian football needs serious “catch-up” job to do. “Lots of other countries have got 50-100 years ahead of India. You have to say you need to catch up. I think you are on the right path. Having a World Cup here for the U-17s gives you exposure. Also, in Kolkata there’s going to be a training centre (Centre of Excellence, as proposed by the AIFF president Praful Patel),” Campbell said. “That will help. You need coaches to talk to players. You also need players to go abroad and that should be happening. Whatever information you get you will seriously take football. The FIFA being here should also help a lot.”

Most attended U-17 World Cup

The 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World in India turned out to be a milestone event as it became the most attended and the highest scoring tournament ever. Not only that, this U-17 World Cup even shattered the most attendance record of FIFA U-20 World Cup — 2011 Colombia edition’s 1,309,929 mark. It thus became the most attended men’s age-group World Cup ever. With 66684 spectators turning up to watch the summit clash between England and Spain at the Salt Lake Stadium here, the total attendance at the six host venues across the country logged 1347143, 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.

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