FIFA U-17 Women’s WC: LOC, Maha govt discuss preparations

The Local Organising Committee and representatives of the Maharashtra government on Thursday took stock of the preparations for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

The D Y Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai will host the final of the tournament on March 7 next year.

The LOC held a video conference meeting with Maharashtra Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray along with officials of the Western India Football Association (WIFA) and DY Patil stadium.

“I am happy to know of the progress that has been made in the last year. It is a great honour for Maharashtra to host this tournament,” Kedar said in a LOC statement.

“The sports department and Maharastra government assure full cooperation and support to make the tournament, along with the final, a great success. This meeting further helped in understanding the requirements for the World Cup, he added.

Aaditya, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on his part said that all efforts will be made to ensure the World Cup a memorable one.

We are very proud to be hosting the U-17 Women’s World Cup, along with the final. The past few months have been tough, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that the situation will improve,” said Aaditya.

“In the coming months, we will launch programmes to promote the growth of women’s sport and increase participation of girls in football. Maharashtra will work tirelessly to ensure the first women’s football World Cup in the country is memorable for teams and fans alike, he added.

According to LCO Tournament Director Roma Khanna, the requirements that would need to be in place to host the final, were discussed.

“Besides assessing the preparations, it was important to discuss other aspects of the tournament including developing women’s football overall and increasing participation in the state,” she said.

“We’re very happy to have stakeholders like Maharashtra, who have the potential, and importantly the commitment and vision to ensure there is a lasting impact when it comes to women’s sport and women’s football in particular,” Khanaa said.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup tournament will begin in Guwahati on February 17 next year.

The tournament was earlier supposed to be held later this year, but was postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.