India colts may have exited the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 in the group stages, but football fans across the country added colour to the much-talked-about 17th edition of the tournament by making it the most attended in its history.
1,239,100 spectators turned up to watch the teenage superstars in action across the six venues in the country, thereby surpassing the attendance record set by China in the inaugural edition of U17 orld Cup in 1985 -- 1,230,976.
While the matches involving home team India saw a healthy turnout at the Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi, games in Kochi and Kolkata were received well throughout the tournament.
Even before the start of the much-anticipated final, in which England crushed Spain 5-2. China's record was shattered as 56, 432 spectators turned up to watch the third-place match on Saturday, October 28 between Brazil and Spain.
However, With 24, 296 spectators per match, India is behind China (38, 468) in the average number of spectators per match. Mexico, which hosted the 2011 edition of the U17 World Cup, is third on the list with 19, 275 spectators per match and 1,002,314 overall.
116,157 more people attended the #FIFAU17WC 2017 in India than any other U17WC FIFA tournament.— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) October 28, 2017
India ??, 2017
1,347,133 (25,906 per match)
Most Attendance #FIFAU17WC— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) October 28, 2017
1,239,100*(24,296*/mt) India ??, 2017
1,230,976 (38,468/mt) China,1985
1,002,314 (19,275/mt) Mexico, 2011
The attendance for matches had breached the million mark in the last Round of 16 match between Brazil and Honduras on October 18.
FIFA lauds host India
Meanwhile, FIFA heaped praise on India for successfully hosting the U-17 World Cup. Head of competitions Jamie Yazra even went on to say the "sleeping giant" of world football is even ready to host major tournaments in future.
"The requirements for any World Cup are good training facilities, good stadiums, proper accommodation and good local organisation," Yazra said, days ahead of the big final.
He added: "India has shown that it has facilities in every aspect that can host major events. The stadiums are of a level almost at par with the senior World Cup. If they keep developing infrastructure-wise, then it will be there."