FIFA Under 17 World Cup: Controversy of shifting venue

Even as the football fans in the northeast were utterly dejected at the decision of FIFA to shift the venue of the semifinal between Brazil and England of Under 17 World Cup from Guwahati to Kolkata, Brazilian head coach Carlos Amadeu’s statement has put more mystery over the issue.

Though the FIFA statement earlier said that it had consulted both the teams before taking the decision, on Tuesday, Brazilian coach’s statement proved otherwise.

“…We don’t have the power to choose a venue or influence FIFA. We would have liked to play there in Guwahati as well, as the crowd there too was welcoming. But when we got there, we were informed that the match will be shifted to Kolkata…” Amadeu was quoted as saying by PTI ahead of their match in Kolkata.

If Amadeu has to be believed, the FIFA statement put a misleading hint. “Despite the great efforts by all involved parties, including the authorities of Guwahati, to preserve the pitch, FIFA has taken this decision following consultations with both teams in order to safeguard the players’ health and to ensure the best playing conditions,” the FIFA statement had read.

Earlier, the quarter final match between Mali and Ghana was played in rain. Though Ghana team management complained about the playing conditions, they were made to play.

“This is shocking. I’m surprised to see the difference in the statement of Brazilian chief coach and FIFA. There should be a clear view what’s the issue. The people of the region are disappointed to the core,” said senior sports journalist Pulin Saha.

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