The tournament director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi has announced on Friday at the press conference at Kochi that the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium is fit to host the prestigious FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The tournament director Ceppi said “At this point in time, we are happy to say that Kochi is a World Cup venue. There would be eight matches to be played in Kochi. The core infrastructure has been completed and only those which are meant to be completed closer to the tournament are left.”
The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium has a sitting capacity of 60,000 people but accommodates a maximum of 41, 748 persons for the tournament considering the safety and security of spectators. “The stadium is fit for accommodating 41, 748 people. Not a single person more.”
Talking about six host cities which reduced the capacity considering safety and security of players, Ceppi said: “Now we are very sure that with that capacity that this stadium can provide to the spectator’s safety and well-being.”
He further said about shops would not be allowed to sell inside the stadium during the tournament which starts from October 6 to 28 in six cities. “The organising committee will make sure that the content in the shops is removed and vacated.”
The works have done “tremendous” on to the stadium by the stakeholders including the GCDA, state and central government and also local football associations.
Talking about the match schedule, Ceppi said “Match schedule has been finalised. I don’t know who has said that Kochi was demoted. That is not the case. Kochi was always going to get eight matches.”
The Sports Minister Vijay Goel has said after visiting the stadium, the works delay in completion and nearby Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Ceppi also visits the training grounds like at Parade Ground, Fort Kochi Veli Football Ground, Maharajas College Ground and Government Boys High School Panampilly Nagar.