A FIFA delegation today expressed happiness at the preparedness of the facilities at Navi Mumbai for the Under-17 Football World Cup, saying the D Y Patil stadium here should be treated as benchmark for other venues in the country.
The delegation led by FIFA Head of Events Jamie Yarza today inspected the D Y Patil Stadium here.
“I said last year that I was happy with the stadium and I haven’t changed my mind. It is a fantastic stadium and most of the works which we have requested to be able to host four teams and all the logistical organisational aspects of the World Cup have been completed,” Yarza told reporters after the inspection visit.
“In that sense, we have no worry (and) everything will be in place. The new dressing rooms are of very high quality and we are very happy with all the preparations. This will be one of the best stadiums in the country to the host the matches and we are proud to be here,” he said.
He said some works, which are temporary in nature, are to be completed at the venue.
Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director of the LOC FIFA U-17 World Cup, informed that the Prime Minister’s Office was “watching” the (preparations) for the event and a report is being sent every single Monday.
“This is by far the best stadium in the country at this point of time. (And) we need to make sure that every single other stadium is as good as this one. This is the standard. This is the standard the other stadiums have to get. And we will not accept anything less than this standard. Even then having this standard, they (Vijay Patil and team) are willing to go overboard. They want to change the seats (for spectators),” Ceppi added.
D Y Patil Sports Academy President Vijay Patil said that training fields have been developed for the event.
“The stadium has undergone and will be undergoing revamps till the time to come. The sitting arrangement will be revamped till the time the World Cup comes, we have got new seats. Practice fields are being developed,” said Patil.
Meanwhile, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation extended its support to the mega event. A senior official of the Corporation was present during the inspection.
FIFA Head of Tournaments, Jaime Yarza when asked about the state of readiness of the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi did not hide his displeasure.
“I don’t want to go into specifics but when it comes to the general state, a lot is unfinished. All the areas have concerns. The media box, the fire system, the seats – lot remains to be done. The completion of the work that we requested in our last visit has not been done. There is a lot of concern so we set up a new deadline of 15th May. We really haven’t completed any of the work,” he said.
The FIFA delegation will now head for Guwahati and Kolkata.