FIFA delegation happy with facilities at Kochi

Kochi, Feb 15 (IANS) An 18-member visiting FIFA delegation expressed satisfaction after inspecting the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, earmarked to host the U-17 football World Cup matches, a top Kerala official said on Monday.

Kochi is one of the six provisional venues for hosting the 17th edition of the tournament that India will host next year.

The other venues are Goa, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi.

The delegation was led by Jamie Yarza, head of events of world football’s governing body FIFA.

A.T.Muhammed Hanish, a senior Kerala bureaucrat and special officer selected by the state government to get Kochi ready as a venue, said it was a hectic day with numerous visits and meetings with the visiting delegation.

“Kochi is now a provisional venue and now they will be back in October later this year for the final inspection. They have been impressed with what they have seen,” Hanish told IANS.

The delegation first visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (JNS) which is the match venue and later they visited four other grounds in the city which will be used for practice.

“They have expressed happiness in the practice grounds and have suggested renovation of the JNS, which we will begin in a month’s time. Overall the delegation appeared to be happy and so are we,” added Hanish.

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