FIFA U-17 WC: Tickets to cost less than Rs. 50

The ticket price of the final or any other match will be Rs. 48. There will be tickets for two other denominations of Rs. 96 and 192 available as well. The catch here is that one has to buy the season tickets to get the discount of “about 60 per cent”.

Tournament director of the Local Organising Committee, Javier Ceppi today said this discount was unheard of in a football World Cup.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Looking to make the slogan of the ensuing Under-17 World Cup “Football Takes Over” appear more meaningful, the world governing body of football – FIFA – has set the bottom limit of the ticket price at just Rs. 48.

In a bid to make the World Cup affordable to all, the announcement comes just ahead of the first phase of the ticket sales, which will be officially unveiled by former Spain and Barcelona defender Carles Puyol on Tuesday. The first phase of the sales will be offering a 60 per cent discount on the prices and the window of sale will remain open till July 7, the official day of the draw, to give everyone the time to go for the initial offering.

“A football fan can see the Under-17 World Cup final or any other match for just Rs. 48, if he or she chooses to buy the venue package in the first phase of the ticket sales,” said Local Organising Committee tournament director Javier Ceppi on Sunday.

One has to buy the complete set of season tickets to enjoy the offer as sale of tickets of individual matches will happen in the final phase with minimum or no discount. Ceppi said the heavy discount in the first phase has been given to assess how a football fan in India reacts to the arrival of a World Cup in the country, which is scheduled to be held from October 6 to 28.

This will apply to all the six venues across the country that will host the group league stages and the subsequent knock-out phase of the showpiece event. There will be two other denominations of tickets amounting Rs. 96 and Rs. 192 for different zones of the stadiums.

Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium or the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan will be hosting 10 matches - including the group F matches in the league stage, a round-of-16 match, a quarterfinal, the third-place play off and the final - and a fan here will have to pay a minimum of Rs. 480 to see all the matches. Similarly, for the other two categories, the price will be Rs. 960 and Rs. 1,920 respectively.

"It is amazing that you can actually watch a World Cup final by less than Rs. 50,” Ceppi said after making the announcement. “We will be opening a limited inventory tickets on a discount of 60 per cent initially and depending on the response will be making the next round of announcements,” he said adding that the idea behind this is to set off the World Cup fever early.

“It will also be a competition to gauge which city has the most passionate fans,” Ceppi added.

While Puyol will be the first FIFA legend to step in the country, ahead of the start of the ticket sales at 19:11 hrs on May 16, the U-17 World Cup LOC is looking to involve Indian sporting icons as well.

Ceppi said he would like to see the sporting heroes of the country promote the tournament and has initiated talks with some of the leading names who will help in the build-up.

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