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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Uncertainty about Kochi as host city over

ANALYST
News
1.50K   //    16 Sep 2017, 18:19 IST

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium


What's the story?

The uncertainty over Kochi hosting FIFA U-17 World Cup is now over after Kerala High Court ordered business establishments inside the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to shut shop for the smooth conducting of the event.

In case you didn't know...

FIFA had given a stern warning to Local Organisation Committee that the games will be shifted from Kerala to other venues if they can't accomplish the mandatory security concerns put forward by FIFA.

The Local Organisation Committee had ensured FIFA that it can be done, but the appeal made by those business establishments in the High Court made things worse after they brought a stay order from the High Court earlier

The heart of the matter

India is all set to host the country's biggest sporting event, the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi was selected as one of the venues for the global event.

FIFA in a recent visit found that there were several shops and rooms in the stadium. According to FIFA rules, the use of electric equipment is not allowed in the stadium as it may cause fires. They also investigated that the tenants in the stadium may cause a security breach. Hazardous materials like cylinders, air conditioners, refrigerators with not much security may also cause peril to the spectators.

In terse, FIFA ordered the LOC to either evacuate them before September 15 or the matches will be shifted to other venues.

The Hight Court also ordered the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), owners of the stadium to deposit INR 25 lakhs, regarding the financial problems they may suffer. HC also advised them that the financial deposits can be settled through Civil courts.

What's next?

The uncertainty over hosting the matches is now over. With the evacuation of the business establishments before September 25, LOC can submit the stadium to FIFA.

GCDA had told the court that it was only a temporary suspension and will not harm right of the tenants.

Author's take

Jawaharlal Nehru stadium is one of the venues for the global event. One of the reasons for FIFA to choose Kochi as a venue is the presence ardent football fans. The LOC should have performed better since it is the biggest the country has ever witnessed. The development of the stadium was done in a sluggish way.

The LOC also should have settled the issue outside the court for the smooth running. However, with the High Courts order, the days of uncertainty are a thing of the past and the days of joy have finally come.

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