After months of speculations, the governing body of world football, FIFA made an official announcement that Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, colloquially known as the Salt Lake Stadium, will host the final of the upcoming U-17 FIFA World Cup.
After a seven-day inspection by a team of FIFA officials, which was led by its head of events, Jamie Yarza, the 85,000-seated stadium was chosen for the culmination of this much-awaited tournament, which is seen as the first big event related to the beautiful game that will take place in the Sub-continental country.
It was a tough fight for Salt Lake, as other venues like Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletics stadium was also in contention as the venue for the final. DY Patil, which was termed as the benchmark venue by the FIFA visiting team will be hosting one of the semi finals apart from hosting one Round of 16 encounter and all the matches of Group A.
Guwahati will host the other semi final along with one Round of 16 tie, one quarter final and all the matches of Group E. On the other hand, Margao stadium in Goa will be hosting all the Group C matches along with two matches of the Round of 16 and one quarter final, while the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, which earlier raised concerns over its preparation for the tournament, will play home to the Group D teams and will also host one Round of 16 and one quarter final tie.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi will also host eight matches, which include all the Group B matches. The national capital, which was not awarded any of the quarter finals, semis or the final because of the pollution issue, will also play host to two of the Round of 16 ties.
When he was asked why Kolkata was chosen as the venue for the final over the top rated DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Yarza said, “We love DY Patil. After what we saw here today we are confident that Salt Lake Stadium has stood up the benchmark. This is one of the stadiums that has improved greatly.”
Yarza, one of the men in charge for the tournament, further expressed his excitement about the tournament. He said, “We know October is a month of festival in India and we want this to be a festival of football.”
The final draw for the tournament will take place on July 7th, after the final twenty-four teams from the six confederations are confirmed.
[Image Courtesy: Sportskeeda and Fifa.]