Mumbai,India's DY Patil Stadium gets thumbs up for Fifa U-17 World Cup

27 March 2017

A delegation of Fifa officials, led by Head of Events Jamie Yarza, confirmed on Saturday that Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium was ready to host matches of the Fifa U-17 World Cup which is set to take place in India later this year.

Having previously visited New Delhi, Kochi and Goa, the delegation — accompanied by the local organising committee (LOC) — said that the Mumbai venue was best prepared for the event among the venues seen thus far.

Barring the construction of temporary structures in the stadium — like a functional media centre, access paths for teams and VIP areas — and relaying the pitch, the venue was being considered as ready in what is officially the final visit by delegates from the world football body. Apart from the few temporary changes in the venue, the local team is also in the final phase of construction of two training grounds, given that Fifa mandates require a minimum of four.

Having inspected the facilities with his team, Yarza said it was up to standard by their evaluation.

“Most of the works which we have requested to be able to host four teams plus the refereeing teams, and all the logistical organisational aspects of the World Cup, have been completed,” Yarza told reporters after his inspection.

He continued: “The rest of the work [which is yet to be done], is of temporary nature so they will be done at a later stage. In that sense we have absolutely no worry that everything will be in place. We are very happy with all the preparations.“This will be one of the best, if not the best stadium in the country, to host the World Cup matches.”

Javier Ceppi, who is the Tournament Director and has overseen the changes made at the stadium, said the venue should be considered a benchmark for expected standards.

“This is by far the best stadium in the country at this point of time. We need to make sure that every other stadium is as good as this one. This is the standard the other stadiums have to get,” Ceppi said.

The Fifa delegation had requested authorities in New Delhi and Kochi to speed up the preparation work after expressing concern with the level of progress with less than 200 days to the start of the tournament.The delegation will visit Guwahati next, followed by a trip to Kolkata.

When asked if the Mumbai venue would host the final, Yarza refused to comment. It was learnt that the host cities for the marquee matches — including semifinals and final — would be announced after the final stadium visit in Kolkata.

The Fifa U-17 World Cup is scheduled to take place between October 6 and 28.