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Guwahati confirmed as U-17 World Cup venue

Guwahati, Oct 24 (IANS) A FIFA delegation confirmed on Monday that the city will be one of the venues for the U-17 World Cup football tournament to be held next year.

The FIFA delegation visited the venue and had a comprehensive look at the stadium and the training facilities before announcing the confirmation along with members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

"We have a very good understanding with the newly elected state government and that has certainly helped to push matters forward in Guwahati. They realize the importance of hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and have given us their complete support, which has had an immediate impact on the pace of work in the last 45 days," Tournament Director Javier Ceppi said in a statement.

"We also believe, as the state government does, that this event will be critical in the chief minister's vision of making Assam the sports hub of India."

Guwahati is the fifth venue to be ratified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Goa and New Delhi are the other venues to receive FIFA's approval.

The 23-member FIFA delegation will travel to Kolkata on Tuesday to visit the last venue of their inspection trip and assess the situation in the capital of West Bengal.

The delegates from world football's governing body were satisfied with the conditions here, both on the pitch as well as in the training facilities of IGAI training ground, Nehru Stadium, LNIPE Ground and SAI Regional Centre.

"From what I am being told, the enthusiasm for the sport here in this part of the country is unmatched," U-17 World Cup event manager Marion Mayer Vorfelder remarked.

"Football is like a religion here and considering how passionate people are about the sport here, this ratification denotes a win not just for the state of Assam but the entire northeast."

--IANS

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