Rajyavardhan Rathore believes that India’s massive success in hosting FIFA U-17 World Cup could pave the way for the country’s qualification in the mega FIFA event in the future. The Sports Minister also heaped praise on the Kolkata crowd for their huge turnout and impartial support.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, that ended with England U-17 being crowned as the champions, has become a milestone event in the tournament history as it became the most attended and the highest scoring contest ever, a fact that has drawn appreciation and accolades from all quarters of the football world.
This comes as a huge boost for the country, and quite deservedly, the sports minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore was all smiles on Saturday. He was speaking to the press after the prize distribution ceremony, where he expressed, “We have got the start. We should not stop here. I hope we get the U-20 World Cup so that the start gets even bigger momentum. I believe if things go like this, it's not far when India will play in a World Cup on their own.”
The newly-appointed Sports Minister has numerous initiatives in line to be executed and getting in the good books of FIFA would be a massive success for the Olympics silver medalist’s political career. “It's a matter of pride that the U-17 World Cup came to India. It has taken India's importance at the world level to greater heights. Now the big competitions and sports which were earlier non-existent in India are feeling the need to come to this country.”
India’s audience has played a huge part in this success. The total attendance at the six host venues across the country logged 13,47,143, shattering the highest attendance record of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2011 in Colombia; the edition logged 13,09,929 fans attending the games.
Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium saw a turnout of 66684 spectators in the final game between England and Spain and Rathore was delighted by the attendance. He said, “Kolkata has sports lovers. They understand the sport better. They waited for the ceremony to get over even after the match was over. They showed respect to both the teams. My heartfelt thanks to all the fans of Kolkata."
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