FIFA U17 World Cup final: Tournament attendance figures set to beat Cricket World Cup 2011's numbers
The 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup final on Saturday is set to be a watershed moment for Indian football as that would be the day the official attendance figures for the age-group football World Cup will cross the numbers from the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was also staged in India, along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The official total attendance figure for the 2011 ICC World Cup is recorded to be 1,229,826, which is only 1,799 more than what the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup has clocked so far. With two more matches to go, the attendance figures of India 2017 will easily cross the benchmark set by the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
Cricket is the number one sport in India hence this comes as a big surprise, particularly when the FIFA U17 World Cup is essentially a youth tournament. However, a point to be noted is that the 2011 Cricket World Cup had 49 matches in total and the FIFA U17 World Cup has already had 50 matches played, with two more remaining. But that doesn't take anything away from what has been a successful FIFA U17 World Cup 2017.
The attendance figure so far of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup is 1,228, 027. With the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata set to host the remaining two matches of the U17 World Cup, two milestones will be reached by the event that has garnered immense interest among the Indian masses.
First, the FIFA U17 World Cup attendance record will be broken tomorrow when Brazil take on Mali in the third-place clash. In the same game, the 1800-mark is also expected to be crossed given the Salt Lake Stadium has had an average attendance of 53,966 in the nine games that have been staged there so breaking those records is all but confirmed.
The final between Spain and England is set to kick-off an hour after the third-place game ends, and by that time, India 2017 will create a new benchmark for global sporting events in the country.