Shifting of game venue no black spot: U-17 World Cup panel

File Photo : Joy Bhattacharjya
IANS|25-Oct-2017 14:21

Kolkata, Oct 24 : The Local Organising Committee for the ongoing Under-17 World Cup on Wednesday dismissed queries about whether the shifting of the Brazil-England semi-final match was a "black spot" for the tournament, saying the change of venue was necessitated by forces of nature.

FIFA had on Monday shifted Wednesday's game to the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here due to the soggy ground condition at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, owing to heavy rainfall for days.

Local Organising Committee Project Director Joy Bhattacharjya said the elements were far from normal at Guwahati.

"It was a cyclonic weather. It is the force of nature, force majeure," Bhattacharjya told mediapersons.

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Bhattacharjya said such shifting of matches was nothing new in FIFA tournaments.

"Even in 2014, the Club World Club match between Real Madrid and and Cruz Azul was moved to Marrakesh from Rabat due to pitch problems," he said.

Bhattacharjya refered to the logistical alternations including the smooth ticket sales done in such a short notice.

"It would have been a black spot if we did not manage to move the game, and make satisfactory alternate arrangements," he said.

"We have never claimed that everything about the Local Organising Committee is perfect. We will and should never be perfect. But we have tried to solve all the probes from match one whenever it was brought to our notice. For instance, when the public complained about lack of water, we provided that from the next match," he said.