New Delhi: Amid growing concerns over low turnout for India's FIFA U-17 World Cup games in the capital, Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday assured that they are doing all they can to ensure a more-than-fair attendance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The minister said he has convened a meeting of schools, in which they will be told to encourage students to fill in the stands during the mega event.
Ticket sales for matches in Delhi has been far from encouraging but Goel said they are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure decent turnout for India's three round robin matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Goel spoke to the reporters during an inspection of the 60,000-capacity stadium.
He said 90 percent of the work is complete and has asked for further timelines for 100 percent completion. He was assured that the stadium would be handed over to the FIFA by the 26 September deadline.
"90 percent of work is complete but still I have asked for timelines, that when they will hand over the stadium so that we are ready to host the tournament even tomorrow. I have inspected the entire stadium and given my views," Goel said.
"As far as ticket sales in Delhi is concerned, I will encourage all school students to come and watch live all the matches. In that regard, I am calling a meeting of all schools and with this agenda," he added.
Initially scheduled in Mumbai, FIFA agreed on shifting India's round robin matches to the national capital following a request from the government.
He said the opening ceremony will be held at the National Stadium in Delhi, with the closing happening in Kolkata, the venue for the final.
Goel added they will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come for the inauguration.
The tournament will be held across six venues from 6 to 28 October. Overwhelmed by the huge interest in three cities of Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati, FIFA today reopened the phase I sales of Under-17 World Cup tickets that start at Rs 48 per match when bought in a package of the entire matches at a venue.
The much-awaited draw for the tournament will be held in Mumbai on 7 July, and the same day the phase II ticket sale will begin with higher prices.
Published Date: Jul 05, 2017 10:53 pm | Updated Date: Sep 28, 2017 03:02 pm