More than 1,000 school students are expected to watch the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, with part of each of the three stadiums hosting the matches reserved for them, the sport’s world governing body said on Monday.
The initiative was implemented jointly by the tournament’s Local Organizing Committee and FIFA at the three venues in Bhubaneswar, Margao and Navi Mumbai. The tournament started on October 11th and will end on October 30th. “The presence of a special group of fans constantly cheering from the stands – boys and girls – was facilitated by a special community engagement initiative carried out jointly by the tournament’s local organizing committee and FIFA. “Thousands of young children across the three host cities have enjoyed world-class football action and many more will get the chance to do the same in the coming days,” FIFA said in a press release.
FIFA Tournament Director Jaime Yarza said: “The games where the kids dance, celebrate and laugh created the ‘pictures of the day’ for me.” Uncertainty surrounding his fate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a tough time for a lot of people, especially those who were here for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup,” said Yarza.
“Having experienced the passion of back then, it was hard not to be sure if it (the 2022 tournament) could take place in India. To see the games being played now is a real pleasure for all of us.” Special arrangements have also been made in the stadiums to ensure that the sport’s young fans enjoy the experience of coming to a match to the fullest be able. “Through this tournament we want to promote the ideas of equality and inclusion. We want these boys and girls to come and see how well these young women can play,” said Nandini Arora, one of the tournament’s project leaders.
“Part of each stadium is reserved for the school children. Around 3000 of them watched the first game in Bhubaneswar while 5000-6000 attended in Navi Mumbai. The number will increase during the final.”