The Local Organising Committee (LOC) alongside a 13-member FIFA delegation made an inspection to ascertain the readiness of Goa to host matches and training facilities at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Following the visit, LOC and FIFA experts expressed their satisfaction with the work which has been put in at the different venues.
Tournament director Javier Ceppi who has overseen the progression of preparations at the venue said, “Goa hosted the AFC U-16 Championship, which helped it get into very high infrastructure compliance levels and gives us enough confidence to ratify it as a venue for the FIFA U-17 World Cup – India 2017. Now it is the moment to start focusing on all operational aspects to ensure a flawless delivery of the Event.”
Also present at the event were Ramesh Tawadkar, Minister – Sports, Government of Goa; V.M. Prabhudesai – Executive Director – Sports Authority of Goa; Shrinivas Dempo, AIFF Vice-President; Joy Bhattacharjya – Project Director LOC and Tracy Lu – Project Lead FIFA U-17 World Cup – India 2017.
Describing the preparations at the venue, Ms. Lu added, “We last inspected the venue in February and I am delighted to see the progress on all fronts over the last six months. The venue, in fact, has already been tested through the AFC U16 Championships and from what the reports suggest, they did a great job. That adds to Goa credence and thus the venue certainly deserves to be a venue for the India’s first FIFA World Cup.”
With Goa’s culture and love for the beautiful game, Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar was ecstatic at the prospect of the State hosting its first ever World Cup. He said, “Goa just hosted the AFC U-16 tournament, where the four Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup were decided, needless to say, we are extremely proud to be given this opportunity to host the tournament; it will most certainly be the next feather in our cap.”
The team also visited the training sites proposed for next year’s event — Tilak Maidan, Cana Benaulim Ground, Bambolim Athletic Stadium and Utorda Ground.
Goa became the third venue to get the go-ahead from FIFA, after Kochi and Navi Mumbai, to host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The delegation will travel to the capital New Delhi tomorrow to inspect the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium there.
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)