Players had to change beside rats during FIFA U17 World Cup, claims Javier Ceppi
What's the story?
For most Indian football fans, the mere fact that India was hosting a major FIFA event was a big deal in itself so when the tournament finally took place, there was a largely positive outlook towards the whole event from the fans. However, this perhaps hides the fact that the organisation of the World Cup was a far cry from previous years and indeed a failure in the minds of those who matter.
The Tournament Director for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Javier Ceppi spoke about the World Cup at a conclave in Delhi on Tuesday and highlighted several shortcomings in India's management of the enormous occasion.
Not just that, he even pointed out instances when players had to change in dressing rooms where rats were preset.
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The FIFA U-17 World Cup received largely positive feedback following its historic debut in India last year with the final taking place at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
The heart of the matter
Ceppi went on to discuss the management of the World Cup in detail and mentioned that not enough was done by the authorities to enhance the experience of fans as well as the players. He also highlights that an internal analysis done by the FIFA team came to the conclusion that the event could have been handled better.
“The World Cup was not a success for the fans. Nobody here cares about the fan, neither the players," said Ceppi at an event in New Delhi.
He further went on to say that he had seen some of the players changing in dressing rooms where there were rats.
“At the start of the tournament, I remember players changing in the dressing room while a couple of rats were present nearby,” he said.
He also mentions that there were a couple of rats in the dressing rooms of players. A big no-no at this elite level of the game.
With this shocking revelation, it remains to be seen if major FIFA events could come to India in the near future.
These are serious issues which need to be considered immediately as simply saying the tournament gave Indian football exposure is far from enough.