New Delhi has become the latest venue to get a nod to host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup after receiving green signal from a high-level delegation of football's world body FIFA.
The capital, thus, became the fourth venue to be ratified to host next year's FIFA U-17 World Cup New after Kochi, Navi Mumbai and Goa.
A 13-member FIFA delegation together with 10 members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) made an inspection to ascertain the readiness of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to host matches and training sessions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.
The capital city's stadium received the go ahead after the team inspected the pitch and the training facilities and all assurances were given by the facility owners that renovations would be completed before March 2017, including two training sites in the main Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex and other two owned by other stakeholders.
"We have been working with different stakeholders in the country from the start of this process and it is good that we are now seeing the results on the ground. FIFA is satisfied with the progress of all the venues visited so far and it gives us a big fillip for next year's tournament. We will put every effort into making the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 a memorable occasion for all Indian football fans," said All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das.
Speaking to the press about New Delhi as a venue, Tournament Director Javier Ceppi said: "Work has finally started here and we hope it progresses well. It took some time but we are confident of the capacity of SAI to complete everything well in time for the event, so that we can test all the facilities.
"We have been working closely with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India to make sure that the renovation works go as planned and we are able to deliver the tournament successfully in New Delhi."
Also present at the event were Sagarpreet Hooda - Director (Sports), MoYAS; Sanjiv Baranwal – Director (Infrastructure), SAI; Joy Bhattacharjya - Project Director LOC and FIFA's Event Manager for the U-17 World Cup from FIFA, Marion Mayer-Vorfelder.
Placing emphasis on the preparations, Mayer-Vorfelder added, "We have been shown the plans for the renovation and we will be looking very carefully into the way the venue progresses to make it fully compliant. We hope that the pace of work now picks up and that we can have the facility match ready as soon as possible."