Kolkata to host U-17 World Cup final; semifinals in Guwahati, Navi Mumbai
Kolkata, March 27 (IANS) The international football governing body FIFA announced on Monday that the Salt Lake Stadium here will host the final of the U-17 World Cup on October 28 while the two semi-finals will take place in Guwahati and Navi Mumbai.
The junior World Cup will take place in India for the first time and gets underway on October 6. The slogan of the World Cup will be “Football Takes Over”. There will be 24 teams competing in six cities.
The match schedule was announced by tournament director Javier Ceppi.
The Salt Lake Stadium will host the maximum number of matches which will be ten including the summit clash.
The colossal Stadium, which has previously hosted Lionel Messi and OLiver Kahn’s Germany before, will also have one round of sixteen tie, one quarter-final, a third place game and six Group F matches.
Group A will play in Navi Mumbai while Group B will be hosted by New Delhi. Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium will have one round of 16 tie and one semi-final and Delhi will have two round of 16 matches.
Goa will host Group C and two round of 16 matches and one quarter-final while Kochi will shelter Group D, one round of 16 tie and a quarter-final.
Group E matches will be in Guwahati with one round of 16 tie, one quarter final and one semi clash.
A 21-member – FIFA and Local Organising Committee – visited the stadium to assess the preparedness.
Kolkta was FIFA’s last stop for inspection. The governing body of world football visited all five venues — New Delhi, Goa, Navi Mumbai, Kochi and Guwahati — and were left disappointed with the renovation work in Kochi. They also asked Delhi to work on the training pitches.
“This is also one of the stadiums which has improved since my last visit. It is on the way to become one of the top stadiums in India,” head of events Jaime Yarza said.
“We are happy. This is a stadium that is fulfilling all the high standards. Obviously it is finished. Things can change but we have received guarantees from the ministers that everything will develop like we requested. Then we can have a fantastic World Cup here,” he added.