Guwahati, Mar 26: The FIFA inspection team left “highly impressed” after overseeing the preparations at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, one of the six venues selected to host matches in the U-17 World Cup later this year.
Addressing the media after the inspection, FIFA Head of Events Jaime Yarza said, “The state government is wonderful and their eagerness to be a great venue for the first FIFA tournament in the country is worth lauding.
“We know how passionate the supporters are in this part of the country and hence, we’re happy to see the preparations in Guwahati. We want to give the fans in northeast India, just like at other venues, a great World Cup.
As is the case with a few centres, minor issues remained.
“There are minor issues to sort out – like development of a new hotel for teams but I believe we are well on schedule for the tournament.”
A 21-member — FIFA and Local Organising Committee – visited the stadium to assess the preparedness.
Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi was also pleased with the progress.
“The state government of Assam has really taken the leadership when it comes to making the World Cup a huge effort in their state.
“We are already working on all operational and promotional matters to make sure that all the people of Assam and of the neighbouring north-eastern states can enjoy World Cup matches in the northeast.”
Speaking about the venue which includes the stadium as well as training sites, he added, “The development in the stadium is very satisfactory and we are sure that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will do justice to the vision of Hon. CM Sarbananda Sonowal of making Guwahati the sports capital of India.”
The FIFA delegation will finish its weeklong inspection at Kolkata on Monday.