FIFA U17 World Cup 2017: England vs Brazil semifinal shifted to Kolkata from Guwahati
The first semi-final between of the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 featuring England and Brazil on the 25th of October has been shifted to Kolkata from Guwahati owing to poor playing conditions.
"The match between England and Brazil for the first semi-final has been shifted to Kolkata from Guwahati. The sole reason for this is the turf, which has taken a heavy beating due to incessant rains," a person close to the situation informed Sportskeeda. "The England team has rejected to play in these conditions at Guwahati and had requested for better conditions. There has been a meeting on the same and the concerned authorities have decided that the claims are indeed one to be taken seriously and they have decided to relocate the game.
Speaking on the matter, a person close to the situation further iterated, "The main issue is the distribution and reimbursement of tickets in Kolkata and Guwahati. This could also be a huge loss for the state governments."
The turf had come under heavy criticism after the movement for the players became difficult during the quarter-final game between Mali and Ghana at the Indira Gandhi Athletics stadium.
Several areas of the pitch looked like muddy fields as puddles of water formed due to the continuous downpour. The balls stopped in these place making life difficult for the players.
This had led to Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin claiming that the game should have been postponed in the post-match press conference. And the condition has not gotten any better it seems.
This news has now been ratified by the Director of Sports in Assam.
England had become the favourites of the Kolkata as they dazzled their way into the quarterfinals after winning all four of their opening games at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. This included three wins in the group stages over Chile, Iraq and Mexico in which they pummeled in 11 goals whilst once conceding twice. That was followed by a win over Japan in the Round of 16 game - which they won on penalties.
The Brazilians meanwhile won their last game - the quarterfinal against Germany in front of a record crowd of 66,613 in Kolkata which turned up in numbers to create a partisan atmosphere for the Samba boys.
This means that neither of the teams have experienced nothing but wins at Kolkata. However, on the 25th of October, something will have to give.