Kochi, Oct 7 (IANS) Legendary former India footballer I.M.Vijayan on Saturday said that the Group D matches to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the U-17 FIFA World Cup will be the toughest and hence the best matches will be here.
Brazil, Spain, Niger and DPR Korea are placed in Group D of the U-17 World Cup.
“Incidentally the opening match is virtually a final as Brazil and Spain are the best sides and one should not be surprised if these two teams go forward as the tournament rolls on and clash in the final also,” said Vijayan.
In Saturday’s second match DPR Korea take on Niger.
Crowds have been lining up before the stadium since the morning and the biggest grouse is that in a stadium with a capacity of more than 50,000, the organisers decided to bring down the capacity to just 29,000 for security reasons.
“All these matches are going live and with the top tier in the stadium kept vacant, a wrong message might go around that people have not come to watch a World Cup match here and it could be a dampener. May be if they had used a particular type of seat, the capacity could have increased further and thousands more could have enjoyed the matches,” added Vijayan.
All the tickets have been sold out and the weather also has so far not played spoilsport.
On Tuesday, in the first match Spain will take on Niger at 4 p.m while DPR Korea will take on Brazil at 8 p.m.
Later, on Friday, in the first match Guinea takes on Germany followed by Spain versus DPR Korea.
On October 8, there will be only one match in the round of 16, while October 22 will see one quarter-final match.