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FIFA puts Goa’s willingness on trial

FIFA puts Goa’s willingness on trial

If Goa is to get a big piece of the pie when the under-17 World Cup comes to India, much hinges on attendance at the I-League, ISL and crucially, the AFC u-16 tournament between September 15 and October 2.
“Much will depend on the readiness and willingness. With just 500 fans turning out at the stadium for an I-League match, doesn’t show much willingness from Goa,” said Javier Ceppi, tournament director at the LOC Fifa under-17 World Cup in India.
“Goa needs to have a packed stadium not just FC Goa’s ISL matches but for I-League matches as well. That’s a very large component. We expect nothing but a full house when the AFC under-16 championship is played here. That will be a show of willingness by the population of Goa,” said Ceppi at a media interaction when the Fifa delegation came calling for an inspection of the Nehru stadium and the facilities as well as the progress at the training venues and the GMC Athletic stadium in Bambolim.
If Goa gets a vibrant packed house for the AFC championship, there is every possibility of the state getting a semifinal or probably even the final, if one is to read between the lines.
“We are very satisfied with the preparations and have made a few amendments to the plans and will implement some small changes, mostly technical,” said Jamie Yarza, Fifa’s head of events.
The changes being made is to the ball kids’ room, toilets and moving TV production to another place. Also, the doping centre is also being moved closer to the tunnel entry.
The delegation also visited the four training venues – Utorda, Benaulim, Tilak Maidan and the Athletic stadium at Bambolim.
“The Utorda ground is being renovated while the Bambolim ground will undergo a major renovation,” said Jamie, adding, “Fifa will take charge of the stadium after the AFC under-16 championship, the ISL and I-League matches are completed.
However, Jaime did caution that FC Goa and Sporting Clube who have fixed the Nehru Stadium as their home venue, will have to maintain and take the venue to its pristine glory or else they will lose it.
About the standard of the teams, Javier said the quality is among the best in the world, be it youth or seniors. “Today’s standard is the highest at international level that you don’t get in many countries. And we expect fans to turn up in droves to pack the stadium not just for India matches but even when other nations are playing each other during the AFC under-16 championship and the under-17 World Cup,” said Javier.
The next Fifa inspection is scheduled for October.
Ironically, the media briefing was done standing on the sidelines outside the playing area to facilitate television coverage rather than the comfort of the stadium itself.

News Source – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Fifa-puts-Goas-willingness-on-trial/articleshow/51016077.cms

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