DY Patil Stadium to host FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup
Mumbai, May 29 (IANS)
Navi Mumbai's D.Y. Patil Stadium was selected as the fourth venue to host the FIFA 2017 Under-17 World Cup in India alongside Guwahati, Kochi and Kolkata, local organising committee of the tournament announced here on Friday.
According to tournament director Javier Cepii, six venues will be hosting the mega event. Goa, Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Pune were the other venues which have been kept in consideration, from which two will be selected. A team from FIFA will do a final inspection in September 2016 when they will decide on the last two venues.
The tournament will kick-off in September 2017 and will continue till October. The qualifying rounds will be held in May-June 2017. Hosts India will get a direct entry while 23 countries will go through the regular route. Four countries from Asia, six from Europe, four each from South America, North America and Africa, and one from Oceania will participate.
“This will be a game-changer for Indian football”
Tournament director Javier Cepii said the D.Y. Patil Stadium was selected not only keeping in mind the arena and training facilities but also the interest among the people of Navi Mumbai.
“Number of things were kept in mind while selecting. Not only the stadium and training facilities but also the interest and passion among the people of Navi Mumbai which impressed me most. This will be a game-changer for Indian football and Indian sport,” Cepii said here on Friday.
“The venues which have been selected and which are in contention will have to upgrade themselves to get selected finally. From good pitch conditions to proper drainage system are the points which will be looked upon when the final selection will be made. We request the venues to step up and make their stadium up to the mark.”
D.Y. Patil Stadium President Vijay Patil said it was a historical day for Navi Mumbai and the country to get the opportunity to host the tournament.
“Delighted that Navi Mumbai will host the World Cup. I thank All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Western India Football Association (WIFA) for the support. Now we have taken a huge responsibility on our shoulders and have to work collectively to make the tournament a huge success,” Patil said.
WIFA chief executive Henry Menezes said, “It is a great day for celebration. The time has come. Now the excitement for hosting the World Cup gets even bigger. Economic boost, fans and large number of people will be coming down to Navi Mumbai to make it a success. The job has just began and we should feel proud to be able to host the mega event.”