Due to pitch concerns, the FIFA U-17 World Cup semi final match between Brazil and England has been moved from Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. Both teams decided to shift the venue and the game will take place on October 25 at 5 pm.
A meeting took place between FIFA and Assam government officials on Monday afternoon to come to a decision on the likelihood of hosting the
“England said they didn’t have a problem, but Brazil weren’t willing to play
According to the officials, Brazil refused to play on the soggy field, which was ruined after the Ghana-Mali quarterfinal match on October 21 as it was played in rain. Mali had no issues with the conditions but Ghana was infuriated and lodged a complaint about the field later.
“We’ve not encountered anything like this before. I thought the game should have been abandoned and played at some another time but those who are
Moreover, field’s drainage system was clogged, which resulted in water-logging, affecting more than 30% of the field. FIFA officials led by tournament director Javier Ceppi made efforts to find a solution, but all turned out to be futile.
“It is shining, and rain is unlikely now. We have two more days to go to make the field ready,” Sanjib Gohain Baruah, secretary of the sports department told HT earlier in the day.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal appointed Pawan Hans for drying up the field and a helicopter flew over the field for 45 minutes but the job could not be done.
“Everyone tried their best but nature reigned. After four days of continuous rain, the soil became soft. The two teams arrived in the morning but are leaving for Kolkata tonight,” said Anand Prakash Tiwari, a key member of the World Cup
Brazil thrashed Germany 2-1 in the quarterfinal to reach the semis, while, England reached the semifinals after beating USA 4-1.