Distribute free U-17 World Cup tickets: Coach Hughes (Second Lead, Correcting quotes)

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New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) With ticket sales of the U-17 World Cup yet to pick up in the capital, Manchester City youth coach Thomas Hughes said on Sunday that tickets should be given away free to ensure good crowds for the matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

“The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium has a seating capacity of 60,000 and if only 100-200 people come to see the match it will be a disgrace to the entire nation and the teams playing the match.

“FIFA should give away free tickets to fill up the stadium,” Hughes said on the sidelines of the ‘Premier League Skills Programme’ here. The earlier IANS story had mistakenly credited the quote to Manchester City Assistant Coach Elliot Sutcliffe.

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FIFA on Saturday approved the request by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to shift all the group matches of the Indian U-17 to the capital from Navi Mumbai.

The capital will hold eight group stage and four Round of 16 matches in the U-17 World Cup.

The skill camp — supervised by Sutcliffe and Hughes — was a week-long programme held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here to train 60 coaches from India. Similar camps will also be held in Guwahati and Bengaluru.

“The Indian coaches will take at least a decade to improve. Having said that we look forward to come here every year to train them as a part of the programme,” Sutcliffe told IANS when asked about his experience of training the national coaches.

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The coach also said that giving away free tickets was a tradition in the United Kingdom.

“In England and Wales we distribute free tickets in tennis matches. That can be case here for football,” he said.

Manchester City finished third in the English Premier League (EPL) under the club’s head coach Pep Guardiola.

Although that performance is considered disappointing by some fans, Sutcliffe believes the Spaniard will be a success at Manchester City.

Sutcliffe believes that Argentine striker Sergio Aguero will remain at Manchester City despite not being part of Guardiola’s plans after Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus joined the club.

He also dismissed rumours that Manchester City had offered a swap deal with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

“Aguero has been a key man for us and he will stay that way, he is not going to leave the club so early,” he said.

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“As far as Sanchez is concerned, he won’t join us, I’m quite sure about it. He is staying at Arsenal.”



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