FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 hosts India will play their matches in the country's capital New Delhi instead of Navi Mumbai, FIFA has confirmed today.
As reported by Goal in April, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had sent a request to FIFA to shift the Blues' World Cup games to the country's capital. It was revealed that the sports ministry, along with AIFF, favoured Delhi as the venue.
Following the request put forward by the governing body of football in India, FIFA has now confirmed its decision to shift Group A ties to New Delhi and Navi Mumbai will host Group B games instead.
The knockout fixtures will not undergo any change and will be carried out as per the initial plan.
Regarding the latest amendments, FIFA’s Head of Tournaments Jaime Yarza said “Attendance, especially in the venue where the home team plays its matches, is one of the priorities of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, crucial to achieving the purpose of better positioning football in the country, so the government’s commitment in this regard is highly appreciated.
"The presence of the Secretary of Sports at the meetings concerning the state of the works in the stadium and training sites sends a positive message and reflects the strong involvement of the authorities. We expect this involvement to extend into the area of pollution prevention, which has been an important topic discussed in relation to the tournament, in particular in Delhi. We are now expecting an action response plan to prevent pollution levels from affecting the tournament, which ideally should continue beyond the tournament.” said Yarza.
The draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 7 at 7 PM IST at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai.
The tournament, which will feature 24 nations from around the globe including India, is scheduled to kick off on October 6, 2017.