FIFA U17 World Cup: Indian fans on course to break attendance record
The attendance for matches of the FIFA U17 World Cup India 2017 breached the million mark in the final match of the Round of 16 between Brazil and Honduras. The cumulative total as of now stands at 1,007,396.
Until now, 44 matches have been played and only eight of the 24 participating teams remain in contention for the title. With the six venues entertaining varying capacities of fans for the matches, it has come as no surprise to see this FIFA U17 World Cup on its way to set an attendance benchmark for future U17 World Cups.
A statement from the Local Organising Committee read: "To say that we have been overwhelmed by the response from football lovers from around the country would be an understatement and we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for creating awareness about the event and making it reach out to as many people as it has.
"Over the remaining nine days, the Local Organising Committee would like to make this tournament the biggest FIFA U-17 World Cup ever, the previous record of 1,230,976 was set in the very first edition in China in 1985."
Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director of the LOC, also added his two cents to what could be a momentous achievement to kick-start India's footballing revolution.
“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 and now India 2017 is on track to become the most attended FIFA U17 World Cup in the history of the event. Keeping that in mind, we have recalled some of the complimentary tickets given in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Navi Mumbai and will be opened today so that all football lovers on those cities can have an opportunity to watch the last matches. For that to happen, we appeal to all football fans and spectators to get their tickets and fill up the stadiums on the next matches, so that India 2017 can leave its mark and have the record of attendance for a FIFA U17 World Cup.”
Here are the attendance figures from previous editions of the FIFA U17 World Cup:
China 1985 - 1230976
Canada 1987 - 169152
Scotland 1989 - 256000
Italy 1991 - 36992
Japan 1993 - 232992
Ecuador 1995 - 462976
Egypt 1997 - 632992
New Zealand 1999 - 216832
Trinidad and Tobago 2001 - 328288
Finland 2003 - 183616
Peru 2005 - 551808
Korea 2007 - 436072
Nigeria 2009 - 778752
Mexico 2011 - 1002300
UAE 2013 - 318084
Chile 2015 - 482456
Also, in an attempt to make sure that as many seats as possible are utilised, the LOC has done a reassessment of the complimentary tickets and is re-opening ticket sales for matches at the following four venues:
Tickets can be purchased online (http://tickets.india2017wc.com) or from the box offices at the respective centers.
The idea is to provide as many people as possible the opportunity to witness India’s first ever FIFA tournament, and the reopening of the ticket sales are a means to achieve that goal.