GUWAHATI, Feb 27 – World football’s governing body (FIFA) officials Inaki Alvarez, Deputy Director Competition and Head Events, Vijay Parthasarthy, IT-Competition, Shaji Prabhakaran, Development Officer, Asia-FIFA along with Windsor Jhon, Deputy General Secretary, AFC, Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League, AIFF visited the city stadia today to take stock of the conditions. City has been spotted as one of the probable venues for the 2017 U-17 World Cup Football and if the city is chosen as a venue, the matches will be played at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Sarusajai.
The team today inspected the Sarusajai stadium, Nehru Stadium, SAI complex and the Judges’ Field along with Hotel Brahmaputra Ashoka.
Talking to the media Inaki Alvarez, the leader of the contingent said, they are satisfied with the infrastructure all the venues which they have already visited. He is also expressed his satisfaction over the basic infrastructure of the Sarusajai stadium. He, however, revealed that it will require huge effort in giving proper shape for a World Cup. Inaki said, India does not have any tradition of playing or hosting World Cup of any level. So, as the U-17 championship has been allotted to India, it must host it in a befitting manner.
Inaki said, apart from the main ground and the stadium, quality practice pitches, connectivity and accommodation are also required for hosting World Cup Football. He also mentioned that government patronisation is must for developing the infrastructure.
The team also took measurement of the Sarusajai ground and inspected the swimming pool, practice pitch and the gym situated in the complex.
The State government presented power points where they elaborated about their plan for developing the existing infrastructure of the entire complex. State Sports Minister Ajit Singh, who was also present during the visit of the FIFA team, said that the government will fulfil all the requirements for staging the coveted championship.
Assam Football Association secretary Ankur Dutta hoped that the team will be satisfied with the existing facilities and city will be chosen as one of the venues.
Director of Sports Department Ratul Duara, AFA president Hemendra Nath Brahma, Sports Authority of Assam’s vice chairman Rana Goswami also accompanied the team. The team also called on Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and discussed about the preparations for U-17 World Cup matches.
Alvarez said he had inspected the stadiums and training facilities at Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium, Nehru Stadium, SAI Sports Complex and Judges Field. “We have been on the move, non-stop after landing in Guwahati,” he said. Alvarez told Chief Minister Gogoi that Guwahati has the requisite facilities but some stadiums require maintenance to hold the prestigious event. The Chief Minister extended all possible support and cooperation from the government in holding the championship.