FIFA U-17 WC: Guwahati semifinal shifted

The semifinal has been shifted to Kolkata after Brazil and England complained about the playing conditions.

The quarterfinal between Ghana and Mali was played in the same stadium in similar unplaying conditions.   -  AFP

The FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinal between Brazil and England has been shifted from Guwahati after both teams expressed their reluctance to play at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, because of poor pitch conditions. The fixture has now been shifted to Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium, which will also host the final on Saturday. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 05:00 p.m..

READ: Mali outwits Ghana to enter semifinals

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) said, "Following a thorough assessment of the pitch conditions at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, which has been affected by severe rainfall over the past few days, FIFA has decided to move the venue of the semifinal between England and Brazil, due to be played on 25 October 2017, to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium).

"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 stadium, built during the National Games in 2007, passed multiple round of FIFA inspection ahead of the World Cup but the Ground has been area which the top officials of the World governing body of football could not assess.

The local organisers tried to dry the ground using helicopters but that did not help much as the pitch retained water in some areas. This apparently prompted the officials of the two teams to approach FIFA for a rethink.

The quarterfinal clash between Mali and Ghana was played in the same venue on Saturday, with the Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin lambasting the playing surface. “The game should have been abandoned and played another time but then the organisers said we have to play and so we played,” Fabin said after the game.
The second semifinal on that day, between Mali and Spain, will still kick off as planned at 08:00 p.m.. at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. 

Fans with a valid ticket for the semifinal originally planned to take place in Guwahati will be entitled for a refund.

                   For customers who have purchased in cash from the box office:

  • Refund dates: October 24 and October 25, 2017, 10:00 to 21:00 IST
  • Refund location: Rupnath Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) Bethkuchi, Near Balaji Temple, Ahom Gaon, Guwahati, Assam 781035
  • Refund process: Please carry the original ticket along with your government issued photo ID. No refunds will be given without both the ticket and the ID
  • Refund mechanism: Cash only


                                                        For online customers:

  • Amount will be refunded to the account used for purchase.
  • Refunds will be processed starting October 28 until November 11.
  • For customers who purchased tickets in Phase I, only the portion associated with the October 25 ticket will be refunded.
  • The refund amount will be the price paid for the ticket, based on the sales phase the ticket was purchased in.
  • In case original Guwahati ticket holders wish to attend the match in Kolkata – fans are advised to carry their online proof of purchase to the dedicated ticket counter for Guwahati customers, and buy a ticket. These tickets are also priced at INR 100.


 

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