Navi Mumbai: The 23-member strong delegation comprising experts from world football governing body FIFA and the local organising committee ratified the D.Y. Patil Stadium as a venue for the U-17 World Cup, to be hosted by India next year.
The stakeholders of the stadium had ensured the work was done to fulfil all compliance criteria for the final ratification, a release said.
Tournament director Javier Ceppi was happy with the preparations at the venue and said, “Credit goes to the DY Patil group, they have been a fantastic partner into making a World Cup in Navi Mumbai a reality. The choice to ratify them as a venue was not hard, because this is a world class facility with world class owners. We hope that this is a great step to make football even bigger in Maharashtra.”
The basis for the ratification of the Navi Mumbai venue not only focused on the main DY Patil Stadium and the training sites, but also took into account the interest that local authorities took throughout the process.
Vijay Patil, president of D.Y. Patil Sports Academy, was present at the conference and was immensely proud at the prospect of hosting India’s first football World Cup in his stadium.
He said, “I am delighted to know that Navi Mumbai is selected as the venue for FIFA U-17 World Cup. I wish to place on record deep appreciation for FIFA, AIFF and its president Mr Praful Patel, WIFA and all individuals who have worked hard to ensure this tournament is a huge success.”
Also present at the press conference was Western India Football Association (WIFA) CEO Henry Menezes.
Particular attention was paid to the state of pitches and the four training sites that include D.Y. Patil Football Ground, D.Y. Patil Cricket Ground, Yeshwantrao Chavan Maidan, and Navi Mumbai Sports Association Ground, the release added.
FIFA Project Lead for the U-17 World Cup Tracy Lu expressed her satisfaction with the progression of preparation at the venue. “We were here in February last time and we are really pleased with the progress made here. The initiative taken by the owners of the facility is incredible and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“They have invested a lot to modify the cricket facilities to suit the requirements of a FIFA U17 World Cup; also we are extremely happy with the exceptional work that has been put in here to get the training sites ready.”
Navi Mumbai became the second venue to be approved after Kochi got the green light to host next year’s marquee youth tournament.
The delegation will visit Goa on October 22.