India will be hosting its first ever FIFA event later this year. It has been selected as the host nations for the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017.
Back in 2013, bids were submitted by three other nations apart from India to have the opportunity to host this prestigious event. On 5 December, FIFA announced that India pipped the likes of Azerbaijan, Ireland and Uzbekistan to host this event. Soon after the announcement, 10 cities were shortlisted to host the World Cup. 6 out of the 10 were finally shortlisted for hosting the event.
Below are the details of the shortlisted stadiums.
1. D.Y Patil Stadium, Mumbai
D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai is one of the finest stadiums of the country. It is well known for its high end technological facilities that are available there. It can be said that the facilities are almost at par with the best international stadiums. Renowned for hosting cricket matches, D.Y. Patil has been the home of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Mumbai Indians for a few seasons. Indian Super League (ISL) franchisee Mumbai City FC has also played a portion of their home matches here. Situated in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, D.Y. Patil stadium has a capacity of a little more than 55,000 spectators. Most of the Group A matches along with two knockout stage matches will be held in Mumbai.
Match dates: 6th, 9th, 12th, 18th, 25th October.
2 Jawaharlal Neheru Stadium, New Delhi
The first of the three Jawaharalal Neheru Stadiums selected to host the tournament is situated in New Delhi. Delhi’s Neheru stadium was one of the obvious choices once India got selected to host the event. It’s attachment to history dates way back when it was built for the 1982 Asian Games hosted in India. Later it has hosted major international events like the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 SAFF Cup. Built in 1982 for the soul purpose of the Asian Games, the stadium is owned by SAI. Considering the fact, that the Indian Football Team also plays most of its home matches in this ground, it is absolutely perfect to host an event of such high stature. With a capacity of almost 60,000 people, this New Delhi ground will also witness one of the inaugural matches of the tournament. It is located in Pragati Vihar in Delhi.
Match dates: 6th, 9th, 12th, 16th October.
3. Jawaharlal Neheru Stadium, Kochi
The second Jawaharlal Neheru Stadium is located down south in Kerala. The advent of passionate football fans in Kerala and their huge support for the sport had made this stadium a hot favorite to be selected as one of the venues and rightly FIFA technical committee did not disappoint. In the past few seasons of ISL, this has been the home ground of the franchisee Kerala Blasters. Crowds turned up from all across the state in huge numbers fro almost every game played here. With a little more than 40,000 seats allocated for the U17 World Cup, it is expected that this will be one of the supreme venues that will leave a mark in world football. Situated in Banerji Road in Kaloor, the stadium is also locally referred to as the Kaloor International Stadium. It will host several matches including one of the quarter finals.
Match dates: 7th, 10th, 13th, 18th, 22nd October
4. Salt Lake Satdium, Kolkata
A FIFA World Cup in India without a possible venue as Kolkata was unimaginable. Hence, the authorizing body of the World Cup not only selected Salt Lake Stadium as a premier venue, but also has decided to host the Finals of the tournament in this location. Salt Lake Stadium or the Yuva Bharati Krirangan has been an epitome of Indian Footbal for quite some time now. It has hosted several great football matches in the past and also promise to do so in the future. Apart from serving as a home ground to the three notable clubs of Indian football (Mohun Bagan, Kingfisher East Bengal, and Mohamedan SC) , this has also been Indian Football Team’s home ground for a long period of time. Football greats like Oliver Kahn and Lionel Messi have dawned the pitch of this stadium. Known especially for its dates with history and football, Salt Lake Stadium has been recently renovated for the World Cup. It is expected to have a capacity of 85,000 for this event. Apart from the finals, Kolkata will be host to most of the group F matches, one Round of 16 match, one quarter final and the third place match. As the name suggests, it is located in Salt Lake, Kolkata.
Match Dates: 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, 22nd, 28th October
5. Fatorda Stadium, Margao
The last of the Jawaharlal Stadium is also known as Fatorda Stadium. It is located in Don Bosco Road in Margao, Goa. Goa has had a huge impact to the development and upbringing of Indian football. It was mostly possible with the contribution of the national clubs like Dempo S.C., Churchill Brothers S.C etc. All of those clubs had at some point of time used this as their premium home ground. Fatorda has also hosted a lot of Indian Footbal Team’s home matches including the Asian Cup Qualifiers. The capacity has been recently increased to 19000 to meet the specification set out by FIFA. Facilities of seating arrangements and roof cover makes it an immensely comfortable stadium. With all the foreign tourism expansion that Goa experiences, Fatorda will be one of the designated stadiums that is expected to perform well in terms of crowd turn up for the tournament. It will also host the 2nd quarter final match and most of the group C matches.
Match Dates: 7th, 10th, 13th, 17th, 21st October
6. Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
This stadium from Assam has lately become one of the stadiums that portrays a lot of passion and respect for the game. Be it ISL franchisee North East United FC or the Indian national team playing their friendly, the turnout is always huge and enthusiastic. People from different states flock in when there is a football match hosted here. Located in Lokhra area of Guwahati Assam, this single tier stadium has a capacity nearing to 35000. The first semi final will be played here. Additionally, the Indian national team is also unbeaten here in all the three matches they have played.
Match Dates: 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 25th October
As the World Cup is nearing all the stadiums are out to making their final adjustments to make this event a grand success.