A helicopter was used to dry the pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Sarusajai, Guwahati for the FIFA U-17 Semi Final match

The 18-member FIFA team, who inspected the playing conditions and practice areas in Guwahati for the upcoming FIFA under 17 Women’s World Cup, said that several amendments will have to made at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, one of the probable venues, to get a green signal from the football’s governing body.

The team led by FIFA’s project lead for the tournament Oliver Vogt, however, said that they are happy with the overall arrangements.

“We had a problem with the pitch in 2017. That’s not a secret. We had to move the semi-final to Kolkata. But we have learnt from that…we have the pitch management which will work closely with the LOC (Local Organizing Committee),” Vogt said on November 28.

Vogt further said, “We had a successful 2017 under 17 men world cup but we just can’t do copy paste. There will be amendments…we want to do better than what we did in 2017. We take this tournament very seriously. We will come here again in May to go in more details. Overall, the areas are very good and we are happy”.

The FIFA U17 Men’s World Cup was played in six venues across India in 2017. The final was played at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. One of the semi-finals between Brazil and England had to be shifted from Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati to Kolkata at the last moment due to poor ground condition.

Tournament director of the LOC, Roma Khanna said that they do not anticipate any major challenge as the infrastructure is already in the place.

“Whatever modifications and amendments needed, will be monitored. But as of now what I would say is in the next one year, let’s celebrate women’s football and increase the participation. This being a women’s tournament, you will get to watch a new product. The best 16 teams would be coming here to participate. That is something for everyone to look forward to,” Khanna said.

The FIFA-LOC delegation travelled to Bhubaneswar on Friday to inspect the facilities in the capital of Odisha. The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 will be held from November 2 next year.

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About Abdul Gani


Abdul Gani is a Guwahati-based journalist