FIFA U17 World Cup: India eclipses China to set attendance record
India etched its name in the history books of world football, becoming the highest ever attended FIFA U17 World Cup edition in the history of the tournament after yet another massive turnout in Kolkata on the final day. 56,622 people attended the third-forth playoff between Brazil and Mali - creating a new record in FIFA history.
The 2017 edition of the tournament being held in India was about 6,000 short of the 1985 edition that was held in China. The 2011 edition of the tournament held in Mexico also saw 10,02,314 people attending the tournament. That, now has been relegated to third place thanks to the overwhelming response in all six stadiums across India in which the tournament has been held.
The third place playoff saw the Selecao overpower a fervent Mali, beating them 2-0 at the end of ninety minutes with both goals coming in the second half from Alan and Yuri Alberto.
The FIFA U17 World Cup, which was the first ever major FIFA tournament hosted by India, with the country looking to make its presence felt in the footballing world.
The tournament saw the Blue Colts both participating and scoring in their first ever World Cup and while the national team, might have failed to qualify beyond the group stages, the tournament turned out to be a massive success story with even the FIFA president Gianni Infantino saying that Football is the future for the country during the FIFA Council conference held in Kolkata.
Long tagged as a one-sport cricketing nation, India showed it’s love for the beautiful game as crowds flogged stadiums through the entirety of the tournament. Kolkata, which hosted the most number of matches, saw crowds upwards of almost 50,000 in each of it’s games.
The Indian edition of the tournament also has the best goal average per match, which is the best since the implementation of the new format of the tournament in 2007. A massively proud moment for the nation, which maybe signals the true spirit of football taking over.