Jeakson Singh wrote his name in the elite list of Indian footballers as he become the first ever Indian to score a goal in a FIFA World Cup. India went down fighting 2-1 against Colombia in their 2nd group clash of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.  The Indian fans who turned out for the game witnessed the Indian colts give the South American a run for their money and became the first ones to see an Indian team score a goal in a FIFA tournament. But it wasn’t all good for the fans before the game as they had to wait for long hours to get their tickets for the match and gain entry inside the stadium. Computers not working, systems crashing and a failure in managing the huge turnout were also the highlights from last night at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi apart from Indian U-17 side’s on field brilliance.

“We had booked our tickets online, in the category 3 and have been standing here for past 3 hours and are still far from the box office window, which will redeem our tickets,” said a disappointed fan who was at the JLN Stadium to cheer his country along with a group of friends.

There was just one box office in service to cater a crowd of almost thousands who eagerly waited to get their hands on the match tickets and watch their team ply trade. The queue outside JLN Stadium was huge, the numbers were unexpected and the ticket management counter was certainly not prepared for it.

People were disheartened and frustrated after paying the asked amount online and still not close to their tickets. There were many fans who got discouraged and walked back self predicting that the queue is huge and they are certainly going to miss a major chunk of the match. For most of them who didn’t wanted to miss the national anthem before the kick off it was turning out to be a disaster as they continued to express their disappointment over the management and the team sitting inside the FIFA U-17 World Cup tickets, Box Office near the gate number 14 of the JLN Stadium.

“We have paid for our tickets and were on the mentioned spot well before time to get our match tickets for Ghana vs USA but its 6 now and the match is half way through while we struggle here for our tickets,” said a fan who had travelled from Ghana to see his native boys take on USA in the U-17 World Cup.

Most of them were drained and frustrated and were blaming it to be a big mismanagement on the AIFF’s part. The first match saw a relatively lower turn out but since the promotions for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2017 have gained fruitful response from the fans, the management should have prepared for the crowd.

Most of the fans who came for Ghana vs USA just in time, had to let go of majority of the clash as they failed to get their passes on time. More ticket Box Offices should be constructed to make sure the fans get their passes in time and are able to watch their preferred games.

“India shouldn’t ask for more fans in this great World Cup event because they don’t deserve any, the management has failed big time in providing tickets, said a dispirited fan from Manipur, the state which has 8 players in the India U-17 squad.

 The All India Football Federation has done a lot to make the FIFA U-17 World Cup run smoothly in the country. Their contribution can’t be denied one bit, from exposing the players to big tournaments, to avail them better facilities and coaches the organisation has done everything to get India going in their first ever FIFA World Cup. But these small failures leave huge impact on fans who do their best to get inside the stadium and cheer their boys, AIFF should look into the matter and ensure better procedure on September 12 when India takes on Ghana at the JLN Stadium in Delhi.

First Published | 10 October 2017 4:57 PM
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