The FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India has set the record for maximum attendance at any FIFA age-group meet for boys. With 66,422 people attending the final match between England and Spain, the cumulative attendance of this edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 went up to a staggering figure of 1,347,131 which is 1,16,133 more than the previous record of FIFA U-17 World Cup which was set in the inaugural edition of the U-17 World Cup, played in China.
FIFA lavished huge praise for India for successfully hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the President, Gianni Infantino went on to say that “Having noticed the huge potential of India, FIFA strongly feels the urgency to expand football in India which will not only help India but the entire world.”
Addressing the media following the FIFA Executive Council in Kolkata, the first-ever in FIFA history to take place outside Zurich, Infantino stated, “Blocking the ticketing website in a notice of one day and hosting the semi-final was truly encouraging and it shows the true passion of Indians.”
Meanwhile, the semi-final match which saw the Young Lions winning against Brazil riding on a fantastic hat-trick of Rhian Brewster was witnessed by a 63,000-strong crowd.
Infantino acknowledged that this edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup truly ratified the fact that India has become a football country now, rather a football continent because of its geographical magnitude.
“India is not a country but a football country now, rather it can be called a continent. Thank you very much, it’s a great pleasure to be back here”, Infantino expressed.
Meanwhile, the previous all-time highest attendance record in all age-group meets was 13,09,929 which was attained at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia which has also been bettered at the Saltlake Stadium yesterday (October 28, 2017).
The passion and interest among the football-fanatic crowd prompted Praful Patel, President, AIFF to say that this edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup was the “most-watched” ever.
“I can say with a great deal of satisfaction that this edition of U-17 World Cup will be the most watched U-17 World Cup ever”, Patel said earlier while addressing the media along with Jamie Yarza, Head of Competitions, FIFA and Javier Ceppi, Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.