"Each venue will host at least eight matches."
FIFA have announced the exact locations of the U-17 World Cup matches taking place in India. The worldwide football organisation revealed the news on 27th March 2017.
They announced that Kolkata will host the finals on 28th October 2017, in the city’s Salt Lake Stadium. Meanwhile, Navi Mumbai and Guwahati will host the two semi-finals. The quarter-finals will take place in Goa, Kochi, Kolkata and Guwahati.
A committee from FIFA spent a week-long inspection, assessing and judging the condition of various cities and their stadiums.
The U-17 World Cup will kick off its football tournament on 6th October 2017. Twenty-four teams from around the world will compete, with matches taking place across six Indian cities.
Salt Lake Stadium holds the title of hosting the highest number of matches. In total, it will hold 10 matches.
Head of FIFA Tournaments, Jaime Yarza, spoke more about the announcement. He said:
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup is an exciting milestone for the growth of football in India and it has now reached a very important stage. The match schedule has been created following a thorough analysis of players’ health, competition format, team movements, weather, local festivities, geography and other factors.
“Each venue will host at least eight matches, and we took existing infrastructure into account, as well as local enthusiasm, when allotting the matches.”
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 25, 2017
The football organisation also unveiled the new slogan for the U-17 World Cup: “Football Takes Over.”
Jaime Yarza spoke on the importance of the football tournament and how it will be a key event in India’s football history. He added: “This is the first time that India is hosting a FIFA tournament.
“It will be also the first time an Indian team will play in a FIFA competition.”
While the organisation begins to take shape for the U-17 World Cup, initial problems appeared. During the inspection, FIFA officials appeared unimpressed with the condition of Kochi and Delhi’s training grounds.
Also, the organisers had to create a spark of passion for Indians so they could engage with the football tournament.
However, Jaime Yarza hopes that the end result of the U-17 World Cup will create even more success.
“We believe there is a revolution happening here. This is not just a World Cup, this is the development of football for almost 500 million kids in India. We really hope that when the final is played, no matter who wins, football will be the winner.”
Now with the match locations revealed, fans will undoubtedly be keen to hear more on tickets.