FIFA gives nod for World Cup tournament in Kochi. But gallery at Kaloor stadium won’t be full
By Express News Service | Published: 19th May 2017 02:16 AM |
KOCHI: Javier Ceppi’s words were oh-so-relieving. Allaying fears, the tournament director of the FIFA U-17 World Cup said on Thursday the city will host eight matches, including a quarterfinal, of the quadrennial extravaganza.
But there is a silent rider. Literally. The gallery at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor, will not be packed to the rafters.
Owing to security reasons, top tier of the venue, which was open for ISL matches, will not be opened for spectators, limiting the seats to 41,478. It means this time over 12,000 vocal chords will not be there to egg Indian colts on.
“We did an inspection with experts on the safe capacity for the stadium. This stadium should never have people on the third tier.
You have one evacuation route for the second and third tier gallery. Since the stadium has been constructed like that we can’t do anything. So, we are going to use the first and second tiers but not the third,” Ceppi said.
However, Ceppi was happy with the progress Kochi made in terms of preparations. “The amount of work that has been done at the stadium and the training sites is tremendous.
We see no reason to hold back Kochi and at this point we’re happy to say Kochi is a World Cup venue and eight matches will be played in Kochi,” he said after inspecting the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and the training venues.
Appreciating the officers for finishing the works in time, Ceppi said the rest of the works, including painting and recarpeting of roads to the stadium, will be done well ahead of the event.