Goel: ‘WC venues in Kochi, Kolkata will be ready by May 30’

Goel, who will next head to Navi Mumbai and then Guwahati, said they would try to ensure that all stadiums are packed during the tournament as they have plans to engage 15,000 schools.

Javier Ceppi (left), Tournament Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, during an inspection at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.   -  PTI

Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel expressed happiness over the preparation for the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in October and said both Kochi and Kolkata venues would be ready by May 30. Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan’s preparation is well on track. The venue hosts the final of the mega event.

“I am quite satisfied with the progress here, though some finishing touches are needed. They will finish everything by May 30,” Goel told a news conference after an inspection of the stadium and training centres at the Sports Authority of India Eastern Centre Complex.

“At SAI Complex, some work related to changing room and floodlights are being done. I have given them instruction to finish work by May 30.”

Goel earlier went to Kochi where he was disappointed with the progress but Goel today said they would also finish by May 30.

“There has been a lot of delay in work at the Jawaharlal Nehru Athletic Stadium. But they have assured that latest by May 30 the work will be finished. I will come back again and play a demonstration match when the venue is ready.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking special interest. I want it to be organised in a proper way. We will finish the work by May 30 at any cost. We will coordinate from Delhi.”

Goel, who will next head to Navi Mumbai and then Guwahati, said they would try to ensure that all stadiums are packed during the tournament as they have plans to engage 15,000 schools.

“In FIFA preparation meetings, our full effort has been to ensure that not a single stadium remains empty. We will try to ensure that the fever of football is spread across India.”

“It’s a great opportunity and proud moment for India that for the first time India will host the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Through this World Cup, we will touch 15,000 schools and will reach Mission 11 Million.”

“We have also distributed football to Parliament members to promote the sport in their constituency. I will also have the same message for the Chief Minister of West Bengal. The good news is our ranking has progressed.”

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