Panaji, March 23 (IANS) Newly appointed Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar welcomed the world football governing body, FIFA’s delegation to the state on Thursday and pledged full support for the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be held in India later in the year.
Commenting on the prospect of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda soon playing host to an event of international repute, Parrikar said that “Goa is known for its love for football and we will ensure that no stone is left unturned in preparations for the tournament”.
“It will be a wonderful opportunity for all Goans to witness a spectacle such as the World Cup,” Parrikar, who left the post of Defence Minister to be Chief Minister of Goa, said.
Earlier in the day, the seven-member delegation along with the Local Organising Committee visited the stadium and the training sites to take a comprehensive look at the facilities. The LOC and FIFA experts expressed their satisfaction with the work which has been put in at the venue.
Describing the preparations of the venue, Head of Tournaments for FIFA, Jaime Yarza said: I am pretty excited to see the way the stadium has shaped over the last year — since I last came here, it played host to the World Cup qualifiers and from the reports, I gauge that the authorities here did a great job at it.
“Also, the meeting with the Chief Minister was pretty fruitful — he assured us of continued support and that all requirements would be met leading up to the tournament.
Tournament Director of the LOC, Javier Ceppi said, “Goa had the advantage of having hosted the AFC U-16 Championship 2016, which helped in having the infrastructure very advanced by September last year.”
Ceppi pointed out that they now “need to go into the finer details” of all the operation plans such as security, transport, health, promotions etc.
The delegation will continue its inspection visit to the remaining venues — Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Guwahati and Kolkata.