Kolkata: A lot remains to debate that whether Guwahati, voted the best ground in the Indian Super League twice in three seasons could have hosted the big semi-final clash between England and Brazil, instead of shifting it to Kolkata and Javier Ceppi drew a point to the matter when he said that considering the circumstances in Guwahati, no stadium could have hosted a football match.
Talking to the reporters in Kolkata regarding the sudden unceremonious shift of the epic battle, Ceppi said, “To all those who have said the drainage system was clogged, I will say that it was clear. Guwahati was twice voted best ground in the Indian Super League (ISL). Drainage was never an issue, it was up to standard. We followed all the requirements FIFA had stipulated.”
“But a very physical game between Mali and Ghana had happened and we needed to get the ground ready in three days amid almost continuous rain. It was unfortunate for the people of Guwahati but really no ground could have sustained such rain and still had a game,” added Ceppi, the director of the local organising committee of FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Jaime Yarza, FIFA’s director of tournaments was also present on the occasion and echoed the same also adding that every step was taken keeping the success of the tournament in mind.
Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged against Javier Ceppi and the All Indian Football Federation president Praful Patel, for forcefully shifting the match out of Assam.
Tai Ahom Juva Chatra Parishad, Assam (TAYCPA) a local party in Guwahati gathered outside the Basistha police station on Wednesday, protesting the move and also questioning FIFA’s inability to clear the stadium for the match despite the rain stopping on Monday evening, reported Xtratime.
AIFF President Praful Patel however refused to make any comment on the issue, instead retreating, “I don’t think it deserves any comment.”
AIFF to set up new academies
Praful Patel also spoke on the football body’s decision to set up new academies across the country. “We have asked the state governments and the SAI for help,” Patel added.
Interestingly AIFF years ago had informed that it was not the duty of the Federation to set up academies and nuture young footballers because all across the world clubs take the responsibility of doing that. At present the AIFF has just a single academy functioning, which is the AIFF’s Elite Academy, in Goa.