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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Sports Ministry to request PM to come for WC opening ceremony

Sports Minister Vijay Goel in the centre New Delhi, Aug 25 (PTI) Sports Minister Vijay Goel today said they would try that Prime Minister Narendra M ...

Sports Minister Vijay Goel in the centre

New Delhi, Aug 25 (PTI) Sports Minister Vijay Goel today said they would try that Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the opening ceremony of the U-17 FIFA World Cup, indicating that plans to have the ceremony were firmly in place.

FIFA does not have the tradition of organising opening ceremonies before the start of its events but Goel said they want to have one for the mega event, happening for the first time in the country.

"We know that they (FIFA) don't do this but we will try to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the opening ceremony," Goel told reporters after distributing footballs to slum kids as part of promotional activities for the World Cup.

"I have inspected all venues and all are ready. PM had a role in it and he wants promotion of football in the country like cricket."

The trophy of the event was also put on display.

Goel said it be great if the state governments also distribute footballs to the kids and promote the World Cup, starting October 6 across six venues in the country.

"We will distribute 1000 footballs to (hosting) states to be given to kids and would love to see the states gift more to the kids," Goel said.

Goel said the tickets sale in Delhi for India matches might not be very encouraging at this stage but gradually it will pick up.

"The popularity of football in other five states is more than Delhi. But I am sure you will see packed house when India will play," he said.

The Sports Minister said they will make efforts to ensure that school students in Delhi get to watch India's matches for free and will discuss the same with authorities in other host cities

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