FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi on Tuesday said the event was unsuccessful for the fans and he revealed witnessing the footballers in a dressing room along side rats, signifying mismanagement.
The Chilean also revealed that only 47,000 tickets were sold in the six matches hosted by the national capital’s 60,000-seater Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) stadium. But on an average around 30,000 spectators attended each of these fixtures here.
“Only, 47,000 tickets were sold in Delhi,” Ceppi said at the 5th International Convention on Football Business.
Ceppi felt that more fans should have been given more priority and a fan-friendly atmosphere should have been created in order to lure them to the venues.
Ceppi asked the crowd present at the convention to share their experiences. The crowd described their experience as an unhappy one due to multiple security issues.
He also said hosting the tournament was very tough in India with problems occurring in the last hours and highlighted the unsuccessful Commonwealth Games hosted by the country in 2010.
“It was tough. In the sense it was way too many things here about it, main thing is infrastructure, to have our international tournament was at place, in India things can come up in the 27th hour,” Ceppi said.
“We had a legacy of the Commonwealth Games 2010 to adapt. People are saying it was successful which is good, but it could have been much, much better.
“People keep on saying the World Cup was a success by all means, but to be honest on my experience as a fan, I don’t think it was a success for the fan, that’s the reality.
“The success for the fans was they got to see fantastic football which they don’t get to see. The leagues here they don’t have the level which these U-17 teams have.
“We missed out on a bunch of things which the Indian system never cares. Nobody cares about the fan, nobody gives one rupee about the fans. Nobody cares about players, there are events where players are changing next to rats,” a frustrated Ceppi concluded.