KOCHI: Following the controversy kicked up by the shortage of food and beverages during the first FIFA U-17 World Cup match at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the state government has stepped in to ensure free potable water to the spectators.
“The government will distribute water free of cost inside the stadium. The decision was taken at a meeting, in which different departments participated, on Sunday,” said FIFA U-17 World Cup nodal officer A P M Mohammed Hanish.
The shortage of food and water dampened the enthusiasm of the fans who had thronged to Kaloor Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium to watch the epic clash between Brazil and Spain on Saturday.
Tempers flared when fans from the level II gathered in front of the food and beverages stalls only to find that the cold drinks and water were not being served due to lack of paper cups. The fans got irked and they ransacked a food and beverages counter at Category II East Level. They even argued with the FIFA volunteers. The situation could be brought under control only after the police intervened.
Disparity in prices
At the counters, one cup of water was being sold at Rs 10. However, the spectators weren’t allowed to take it inside the stadium. The only item allowed inside were bottles of Sprite and Coca-Cola. But these were being sold at very high prices. A two-litre bottle was being sold at an unbelievable price of Rs 300.
However, Mohammed Hanish said, we have directed the contractors to supply sufficient amount of food packets and that too at the MRP.