U17 World Cup: Referees' equipment and practice balls go amiss for a while in Kochi

The final matchday in Kochi was marred by an issue of missing balls and referee equipments...

On Sunday, Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru stadium hosted its final match of the FIFA U17 World Cup - the quarterfinal clash between Spain and Iran. Like all the previous seven fixtures, this game also went on smoothly until the fag end of the day. 

After the victorious team left the ground, the authorities were confronted by a petty problem. 

Apparently, the organisers were found that some of the equipment used by the referees and a fair few practice footballs were missing from the stadium. 

This prompted a widespread search of the premises and all the staff including the volunteers were quizzed for information. However, a member of the organising committee informed Goal that the 'stolen' items were recovered soon after from inside the stadium premises itself but that did not rule out malpractice. 

"A few pieces of equipment and balls went missing from the stadium yesterday. A meeting was called after the match and we [volunteers] were asked about this. In the meeting, we were informed that they [FIFA officials and LOC] are going through the CCTV footage and if one of the volunteers is found responsible for this, he will be summoned.

"And that would be easy since they have all the details of each and every one of us with them," one of the volunteer heads, who preferred to remain anonymous, said. 

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The incident, though minor, put a slight dampener on what has been a smoothly organised tournament at Kochi. 



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