Spanish football legend Carles Puyol, on expected lines, attracted all the attention as the local organising committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup kick-started the ticket sales.
The former Barcelona central defender was engaged in a friendly match with sports minister Vijay Goel and his cabinet colleague Babul Supriyo, who is also the vice chairman of the LOC, along with the kids associated with the government’s Mission XI Million programme.Indian football has been in a state of flux over the past two years. Fortunes of the national team have been on the rise, with India recently breaking into the top-100 of the FIFA rankings. However, the fact remains that the senior team is yet to get a chance to have a go at some of the real bigwigs of football such as England, Argentina, Brazil.
The Indian U-17 team, though, will be presented with that opportunity when they play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup that starts in October.
Ticket sales for the FIFA U-17 World Cup was officially launched on Monday at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the status of the national league, India’s power to attract the biggest names in world football has seen a considerable rise over the years. A testimony to this was the presence of Spanish and Barcelona great Carles Puyol at the launch.
Tickets for the first FIFA tournament in the country will go live at exactly 19.11 hours on Tuesday, paying a tribute to the year in which Indian football made history and the prices are kept at a nominal rate so that fans can throng the stadium.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Vijay Goel along with Carles Puyol handed over the first ticket of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday evening.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Vijay Goel told DD News correspondent that India’s decision to host the U-17 World Cup can revolutionise football in India and go a long way to develop the game on grassroots levels across the country.