FIFA U17 World Cup: How India can break all-time attendance record in 8 matches
FIFA's first official event in India has been great so far with teams from all over the world showcasing their talent on the pitch for thousands of Indian football fans. Over the last 2 weeks, we've seen 44 matches take place across 6 venues spread throughout India. In an official statement from the FIFA Local Organizing Committee, after the Round of 16, it was announced that total attendance for all those matches has breached the million mark and now stands at a whopping 1,007,396. Over one million football fans across India have come out to watch the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a FIFA tournament happening in India, not forgetting this is India's first event too, a historical aspect as well.
To give you a rough idea of just how massive a figure that is, keep in mind that the all-time attendance for every tournament in the history of the FIFA U17 World Cup altogether is 7,318,532 (excluding this year's tournament) which means that India's 1 million figure is equivalent to around an impressive 15% of all-time total attendance. The current record for an individual tournament is 1,230,976 held by China who has held the record since the hosted the very first FIFA U17 World Cup in 1985.
The Tournament Director of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, Javier Ceppi, was all praise for India in an official statement as he was quoted saying ''We really feel that football has taken over the country and the craze that the tournament has generated is one of a kind. The fans have been fantastic now India 2017 is on track to become the most attended FIFA U17 World Cup in the history of the tournament.''
He also appealed to the public to help India break the record and create history ''Keeping that in mind, we have recalled some of the complimentary tickets given in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Navi Mumbai and will be opening them to public sale so that all football lovers will get an opportunity to watch the final few matches and be a part of history. For that to happen we appeal to all football fans and spectators to get their tickets and fill up the stadiums during the upcoming games so that India 2017 can leave its mark in history and break the record for attendance.''
So, can India do it?
Well, out of the eight games remaining, three games including the final are scheduled to take place in Kolkata, while the other matches include two in Guwahati and one each in Goa, Kochi and Mumbai.
Kolkata - 66,600
Navi Mumbai - 53,800
Kochi - 29,000
Guwahati - 23,800
Goa - 16,200
According to the capacities of the stadiums that will host the final eight games, the possible cumulative attendance - if every game is a sellout - would amount to 344,600 which means that India would require a minimum total attendance of 65% in the final eight games to break the record. Come on India, it's time to make history.