FIFA content after India inspection

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New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) World football governing body FIFA’s representatives were happy after conducting a ‘fact finding’ mission here in connection with the Under-17 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in 2017.

“We are on a short trip and this trip is planned to acclimatise us to the team which will be conducting the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Our purpose is not the inspection of the pitches, but in a word it can be termed as ‘fact finding’,” FIFA director competitions Colin Smith said here on Thursday.

“We are tremendously excited to come to India. This tournament has the backing of FIFA president, its executive committee members and its administrative staff. India is a country with huge potential and we are glad to be part of it.”

The FIFA delegates stressed on improvement of the existing footballing infrastructure in India as well as creation of new training facilities.

“We are improving the existing stadiums to make them world-class and our focus is also on the training sites. There will be a total of six new training sites built which the clubs can use for playing matches and other football related activities. We also aim to improve 19 existing training sites,” said Javier Ceppi, member of the FIFA team.

The FIFA team insisted on preparing a plan to build a legacy of the World Cup after hosting of the tournament, particularly aimed at galvanising the youth.

“One of the prominent features of any FIFA World Cup is the legacy which it leaves behind. And similarly the 2017 U-17 World Cup being hosted by India is bound to galvanise the youth. Ranging from stadias to the atmosphere to outburst of football in India, the legacy applies everywhere,” Ceppi said.

He said they are in talks with various state governments regarding the legacy plan, adding the inspection for the stadias will begin by the end of this year.

“We are currently discussing with the state governments as to how to put forward a legacy plan which will outspread football,” he said.

Ceppi stressed on the impact of the mega-tournament and said the successful hosting of the tournament “is bound to open up portals for many other competitions”.

The tournament will be held across six venues.

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