What’s the Story?
Contrary to recent reports, the ticket for India’s opening 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup game against USA, set to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, have not been sold out, as of yet.
This comes despite the fact that a large number of ticket have been purchased by the government, who in turn, handed them over to a number of schools throughout the city, FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC) sources confirmed to Sportskeeda.
In case you didn’t know
India are set to play and host their first ever major FIFA tournament, which kicks off on Friday. There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding the tournament, and how India will present itself as a nation where football is on the rise.
The senior national team has done well over the last couple of years, going on an 11-match unbeaten run. This run also helped them climb to 96, their best FIFA ranking in two decades. However, the Blue Tigers have fallen 11 places in the rankings since then, despite not losing a single game in 2017, so far.
Heart of the matter
Ticket sales for the FIFA U-17 World Cup has been a bit of an issue, with tournament director Javier Ceppi showing some concern over the lack of sales in certain venues.
While venues like Kolkata and Guwahati showed a good rate of ticket sales, other venues like Goa have surprisingly not shown much interest in the tournament, in the initial phases of ticket sales.
However, Ceppi himself confirmed that the ticket sales, which were going at a lower rate than expected, have picked up, once the LOC shifted the platform of sale from online to physical.
India are set to play three Group A matches against USA (on October 6), Colombia (on October 9), and Ghana (on October 12). The three sides present tricky challenges for the Indians, who may be excused, if they fail to make it to the Round of 16.
However, the U-17 players have been taken on long exposure trips across the world over the last few months, something from which they are bound to have learnt a lot. They Indian colts have also sprung a few surprises during their exposure trips, defeating other junior teams in Europe.
While the initial lack of online ticket sales may have been a cause for concern early on, the opening of the ticket sales in physical form has clearly helped the average Indian public to access the passes to the first World Cup to be held in the country.
India is a nation where there still are many who are not comfortable with making transactions on the digital platform. This may be one of the reasons why online ticket sales did not quite work out in the initial phases.