The DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai has been officially named as the second venue for the FIFA U17 World Cup, to be held across India next year. This news comes a day after the JLN Stadium Kochi, Kerala, was announced as the first of the six Indian stadiums to host the mega football tournament for the junior players.
The 23-member delegation comprising experts from FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC), who conferred the official status to the stadium in Kochi for hosting the FIFA event on Wednesday, visited the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday and seemed happy with the work done by the local authorities.
"Credit goes to the DY Patil group, they have been a fantastic partner into making a World Cup in Navi Mumbai a reality," said U17 World Cup Tournament Director Javier Ceppi said on Thursday. "The choice to ratify them as a venue was not hard, because this is a world-class facility with world-class owners. We hope that this is a great step to make football even bigger in Maharashtra."
Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC play their home matches for the past two seasons at this particular stadium but for ISL 2016, they shifted their home games to the newly created Mumbai Football Arena at the Andheri Sports Complex. In the mean time, work continued at the DY Patil Stadium to make it fully compliable to the FIFA criteria needed for hosting the U17 World Cup matches.
"We were here in February last time and we are really pleased with the progress made here. The initiative taken by the owners of the facility is incredible and we are proud to be associated with them, informed Tracy Lu, the FIFA project lead for the U17 World Cup. "They have invested a lot to modify the cricket facilities to suit the requirements of a FIFA U17 World Cup; also we are extremely happy with the exceptional work that has been put in here to get the training sites ready."
The delegation also monitored the four training sites near the stadium, which includes the DY Patil Football Ground, the DY Patil Cricket Ground, the Yeshwatrao Chavan Maidan and the Navi Mumbai Sports Association Ground.