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U-17 World Cup organisers meet Salt Lake Stadium officials

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Kolkata Oct 5 (IANS) The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the upcoming U-17 football World Cup, to be hosted by India next year, met officials of the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday to take stock of the renovation work that is being done ahead of the mega event.

Tournament director Javier Ceppi, head of venue operations Roma Khanna, LOC Board member and All India Football Federation (AIFF) Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta and Salt Lake stadium's CEO Jyotisman Chatterjee were present at the meeting.

Officials of world football's governing body FIFA are expected to visit the city for a final round of inspection on October 25.

"The LOC basically were apprised of the renovation work that is being done here. The FIFA team is arriving in some days and there are areas they want to be completed like the revamp of the dressing room and stuff," a source who attended the meeting told IANS on Wednesday.

October is the deadline for the stadiums to comply with standards required for hosting a World Cup match, FIFA head of events Jaime Yarza had said when the world football body's team last visited in February.

"We are 80 per cent satisfied with the planning of the tournament. The state and central governments and Local Organising Committee will need to start the construction work immediately," Yarza said during his last visit.

"We still have time but October is not far away and all the stakeholders will really need to start work. Now is the time to start working on the implementation of the plans," he noted.

Though not zeroing in on on anything specific, Yarza talked about two aspects -- dressing room, and safety and evacuation of spectators -- when quizzed.

The Salt Lake Stadium, tipped to host the final of the top-draw junior meet, is undergoing a heavy revamp. The total renovation cost is expected to be close to Rs.60 crore.

--IANS

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