A 23-member delegation comprising experts from FIFA and LOC visited the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai earlier today. Deeming the preparations to be satisfactory, they ratified Navi Mumbai as a venue city for next year’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
“Credit goes to the DY Patil group, they have been a fantastic partner into making a World Cup in Navi Mumbai a reality. The choice to ratify them as a venue was not hard, because this is a world class facility with world class owners. We hope that this is a great step to make football even bigger in Maharashtra,” said Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi.
The basis for the ratification of Navi Mumbai as a venue not only focused on the main D.Y. Patil Stadium and the four training facilities at DY Patil Football Ground, DY Patil Cricket Ground, Yeshwantrao Chavan Maidan, and Navi Mumbai Sports Association Ground; but also took into account the interest that local authorities took throughout the process.
Vijay Patil, president of DY Patil Sports Academy, was present at the conference and was immensely proud at the prospect of hosting India’s first football World Cup in his stadium.
“I am delighted to know that Navi Mumbai is selected as the venue for FIFA U-17 World Cup. I wish to place on record deep appreciation for FIFA, AIFF and its president Mr Praful Patel, WIFA and all individuals who have worked hard to ensure this tournament is a huge success,” Vijay Patil said.
Also present at the press conference was Western India Football Association (WIFA) CEO Henry Menezes.
FIFA Project Lead for the U-17 World Cup Tracy Lu expressed her satisfaction with the progression of preparation at the venue. “We were here in February last time and we are really pleased with the progress made here. The initiative taken by the owners of the facility is incredible and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“They have invested a lot to modify the cricket facilities to suit the requirements of a FIFA U-17 World Cup; also we are extremely happy with the exceptional work that has been put in here to get the training sites ready.”
Navi Mumbai became the second Indian venue to be approved after Kochi got the green light to host next year’s marquee youth tournament yesterday.