Kolkata, Sep 29 (IANS) Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal kicked-off the first board meeting of the local organising committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) headquarters here on Tuesday.
In a stirring speech, Sonowal urged all stakeholders of the tournament to work together as a team and put their best foot forward to make the event a grand success. He assured the complete support of the government for the first ever football World Cup in India.
Earlier, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel welcomed all the delegates and explained the significance of the U-17 World Cup for the overall development of Indian football.
He was followed by tournament director Javier Ceppi LOC who updated the board on the current status of the preparations.
Secretary Rajesh Yadav, SAI director general Injeti Srinivas and joint secretary Onkar Kedia then put forward the central government’s perspective on the preparation after which representatives from Goa, Kochi, Guwahati and Kolkata updated the forum on the current progress of work at the various venues.
Also present were AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, FIFA development officer Shaji Prabharkaran, Indian Football Association (IFA) president Subrata Dutta and representatives from SAI, Sports Ministry and the LOC.
The U-17 World Cup, is the first ever FIFA tournament to be held in India and will be staged in September-October 2017. Six venues — Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Kolkata and Guwahati — have been initially shortlisted for the event.