It's the cup of life

It's the cup of life

Football fanatics are elated at the news of the ‘Under-17 FIFA World Cup’ being held in India in 2017. The lovers of the game in the City are doubly excited as Bangalore will be one of the six venues for the matches.

When Bharath Urs, a quality manager with HP, read this news, he was pleasantly surprised. “As a senior team, we never got the chance to play in the World Cup. Now this is a great opportunity for the youngsters to play. With different types of media, they will get a lot of publicity as well. In fact, it’s a stepping stone for us to create some great players in future. We should make use of this opportunity,” he says. Does he feel the prices of the tickets will be reasonable? “If they want a full house, the tickets should be reasonably priced,” he answers.

There are some fans who feel India needs to buck up to host an event of this magnitude. Says Vineet Angadi, a software engineer with Bosch, “It could be slightly risky considering our infrastructure. But if we do it well, it could be a great opportunity for football in India. We should get things ready as soon as possible for this event as India has a lot of potential when it comes to football.”

Agrees Anto Xavier, who played in South Africa in 2010 in the ‘Under-16 Coca Cola Tournament’ and in China and Iran in 2011 as part of the ‘Under-19 Indian Team’. “Compared to the other parts of the country, football is the least popular in Bangalore. There is not even an academy dedicated to it here,” he complains.

“Thanks to Bengaluru Football Club, the game has gained popularity and the Under-17 World Cup will only add to that now,” he notes.

Abiram, who works with Kshatriya Sports Pvt Ltd and has played for the BTM Football Club, is delighted as all the Indian football stadiums will get a facelift.

“Though the football stadium in Bangalore is better than the other stadiums of the country, the turf here is getting older and isn’t laid properly due to which, the players suffer from knee injuries. Besides, of all the sides here, currently only one has a shelter,” he adds. Pointing out that India will automatically qualify as a host team, he says, “This is the first time we will be playing on a level like this after 1950, when the Indian team qualified for the FIFA World Cup but ended up going to the Olympics instead.”

A professional in a telecommunication company, Aishwarya S rarely missed any of the football matches held in the City as part of the I-League. “When I first saw this news on Twitter, I screamed out loud as I was so excited at the thought of having a world-class football tournament here,” she gushes.

Indian football is surely cheaper than Indian cricket, according to her. “However, FIFA should realise the event is in India and price the tickets in rupees not dollars,” she laughs.

“Though the fans attending the event may not be as many as cricket fans, they are still a passionate and well-behaved lot. Now they have a bigger platform to support local players. But India should play well in the series and be a contender and not just a spectator,” she sums up.

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