FIFA’s ongoing tour to inspect venues for the 2017 U-17 World Cup to be held in India took place in Goa as Inaki Alvarez, FIFA’s deputy director of competitions was present at the Fatorda Stadium.
Alongside him were Vijay Parthasarthy, FIFA’s competitions manager, Dr.Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA’s development officer for central and south Asia, and representatives from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) namely Anil Kamath, assistant general secretary and head of competitions and Roma Khanna, club licensing manager.
On being questioned as to when the final shortlist of six venues for the U-17 World Cup would be announced following the inspection conducted, Alvarez said, “There is going to be a report. We compare that report with commitments received from various groups, whether it is the local government or national government, private sector and so on. It’s a long process working with AIFF. Probably about this time next year; we will get to the announcement stage. It’s quite a long process of review and validation.
“So far it has been very encouraging and there has been a lot of support. I say this several times. But having the support of the local government and the national government is key, because AIFF cannot do it by itself. This is the World Cup so we need the support of various groups. It’s also good to see the media here.”
The practice grounds have been steadily improving in the Indian contingent for the last few years with Goa boasting several high quality turfs which match the standards of an International training ground.
“Yes, we saw half dozen grounds and it looks like there has been significant investment in the last few years. What we saw was quite new, fairly new so it’s good. When you see investment like this that means there is support. It’s good to see.”
With Pune, Mumbai and Goa done, other venues to be inspected are Bangalore, Kerala, Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata
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