India has the potential to become a strong footballing nation: FIFA

Head of Events, Jamie Yarza expressed their satisfaction with the progress in each of the six provisionally selected stadiums in an interaction with the media afterwards, “It has been a really long but at the same time a satisfying week. We have inspected all facilities at the six provisional venues selected for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and I must say that the AIFF and LOC has done some very good work to ensure that the work in all the six venues is undertaken in full speed.”

Although content with the progress, the Spaniard also highlighted that the real test for India starts now as they try and execute the activities planned in order to ensure the stadiums meet FIFA World Cup standards. 

“There is a lot of amendments that needs to be done to the plans in order to execute what is being planned. Now is the moment with all the good planning done, the work needs to begin because most of the stadiums need major innovations to make themselves ready for the World Cup.

Except for the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai which is fantastic, every other stadium needs to start working now. We are working in partnership with the Local Organising Committee who is responsible for monitoring and implementation of all the processes in the stadiums, we really hope this would be the starting point for India”, he added.

Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director – LOC also addressed the gathering and confided that there has been a great progress at the venues in the past 16 months. “There has been a lot of planning done between the AIFF, us, respective state governments and the central government and we have set October 2016 as our deadline to develop the stadiums’ infrastructure. The last 16 months here has been about changing the culture and creating a new system for state and central governments to deliver the most important football event in India till date.”