"We had a legacy of the Commonwealth Games 2010 to adapt", says FIFA U-17 WC director Javier Ceppi

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"We had a legacy of the Commonwealth Games 2010 to adapt", says FIFA U-17 WC director Javier Ceppi

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SportsCafe Desk


While Indian organizers pointed to the massive turnout at the U-17 World Cup to state it a huge success, Javier Ceppi has slammed them calling it a legacy of CWG 2010. The director also criticized the lack of proper infrastructure for fans and players with numerous 11th-hour problems cropping up.

The failure of the 2010 Commonwealth games held in India had sent the reputation of the nation to gutters on the international stage. Four or five accommodation towers at the Games village were unfinished; it lacked facilities such as wireless Internet, fitted toilets and plumbing. At one point, it had even appeared that the Games would have to be cancelled, which was further compounded by the collapse of the foot-over bridge outside the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium that ended up injuring 30 people.

FIFA U-17 World Cup was the perfect chance for India to make amends for it and the large turnouts, based on which the organizers declared the world event as a success, made everyone believe that India had finally been able to erase the black mark. Footfall wise, the event was surely a huge success, as the country logged attendance of 1347143, which is 116,167 more than the earlier record attendance of 1,230,976 set in the first edition of the tournament in China in 1985. 

However, tournament director Javier Ceppi clearly had a different view of the event as he slammed the Indian organizers for the terrible preparations. Speaking at the fifth International Convention on Football Business, he stated that he saw footballers “changing next to rats in the dressing room”, and the “Indian system don’t care about players and fans”, and it wasn’t as big of a success as the Indians believe it to be.

“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. It was tough. In the sense it was way too many things here about it, the main thing is infrastructure, to have our international tournament was at a place, in India things can come up in the 27th hour,” he said.

Ceppi further went on to point out the below-average level of football that the general Indian gets to view was nowhere compared to the level of football that the World Cup brought. He feels the Indian leagues are way off the standards set by European nations.

“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.” Ceppi said.

With this shocking revelation, it remains to be seen if major FIFA events could come to India in the near future.

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