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Salt Lake stadium has potential to become world class facility: 2017 U-17 WC Tournament Director

The inspection committee will now move towards their fifth leg in Guwahati.

Inspection team happy with Kolkata’s progress

After visiting three venues in Kochi, Goa and Mumbai, the FIFA U-17 World Cup inspection committee examined the Salt Lake stadium here in Kolkata today. The delegation headed by FIFA events Chief Jamie Yarza termed the facility as ‘World class,’ before declaring their happiness over its progress.

During a media interaction, Yarza said, “We are really happy with the way things are progressing with this particular venue. It is a World class facility in a city, which is renowned for its love for football. There are a few amendments which need to be made, but overall the progress is going as per the plan. The local governing body and All India Football Federation are doing a great job here.”

Expanding on the aspects required to alter within the current plan, he added, “There are certain aspects like the first tier being a bit too low, but you can’t change that. So a plan has been devised to work with that. Certain things like the Technical rooms also need to be changed. At this particular stage, we are meeting all the requirements of the plan.”

The Stadium capacity is also set to reduce to 85,000, with the installation of bucket seats.

Kolkata may host final: Ceppi

Speaking about a potential financial injection for the stadium’s completion, West Bengal Sports Minister, Arup Biswas said, “We will go as per FIFA’s prescription, if they say that something requires change, we will invest the required money. To make the tournament successful is our main goal, whatever the finances maybe.”

Tournament Director Javier Ceppi said, “We will be coming back in October to finalise the construction requirements and to give our final decision. Everything is going as per progress. There are a few technical changes such as the IPCC, which is the broadcast extension. However, those are extremely minor.”

He added, “Kolkata could host the final, but nothing is confirmed, because other cities also have equally good stadiums.”

West Bengal Principal State Sports Secretary, Sayeed Ahmed Baba emphasised on the increase in security, on the gate. He said, “We will be investing in getting more security, to match the crowd coming into watch the games.”

The inspection team will now move to Guwahati for the fifth leg of their examination. They will also conduct a final wrap-up media interaction on February 20.

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