FIFA officials inspect Kolkata venue of under-17 Football World Cup
FIFA officials visited the Salt Lake Stadium here on Friday to inspect the venue of the under-17 Football World Cup.
In a press conference in Kolkata, FIFA delegation chief, Inaki Alvarez, said the purpose of the team's visit was to carefully survey the facilities to be provided to the players.
"There are eight cities, which we have visited so far to look at facilities like hotels, stadiums and training sites. That's the purpose of this visit," said Alvarez.
Expressing his satisfaction with the Salt Lake Stadium, Alvarez further said that the stadium has all the space required.
"It is quite a massive stadium. It is quite big and has all the space that we are looking for. Now, it is just a matter of studying the spaces and ways to utilise them best," said Alvarez.
Salt Lake Stadium can seat around 1,11,000 spectators at the same time, making it the biggest stadium in India based on seating capacity.
The visit to the Salt Lake Stadium makes it the eighth venue in India inspected by a FIFA team so far.
The team has so far visited stadiums in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Pune, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi and Guwahati.
"I think now a proper analysis has to be done and some tests have to be taken. The pitch needs to be seen in context of not just the World Cup, but everything else, too. So, it's not a quick decision that we can make," Alvarez told reporters.
FIFA continued its policy of taking tournaments to developing soccer frontiers when it awarded the 2017 Under-17 World Cup to India on December 5, 2013.
It will be the biggest soccer tournament staged in India, who won the nomination by beating bids from 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa and Uzbekistan.
FIFA had also awarded the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 to South Korea while the women's Under-17 World Cup in 2016 was given to Jordan and the Under-20 Womens' World Cup will be played in South Africa.
India has never taken part in the World Cup finals and although soccer matches there attract sizeable crowds, cricket is the country's national sport.
(Posted on 01-03-2014)