FIFA U-17 World Cup: Electrifying atmosphere at the Salt Lake Stadium for the Group F openers

[caption id="attachment_55993" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Mama Image England beat Chile 4-0 in a Group F game of the FIFA U17 World Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium today. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: A capacity crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium got its money’s worth as they witnessed a terrific performance from the England U’17 footballers here on Sunday. Kolkata truly lived up to the expectation as they once again showed why it is called the mecca of football in the country. Hundreds of fans, comprising enthusiastic youngsters, teenagers, high on adrenaline school students, started pouring in large numbers as soon as the gates opened two hours prior to the first game.

They were seen singing, dancing and cheering every good move on the ground, were raucous in applauding every good move. The official turnout read a 46154, which was nowhere close to sold out as was demanded by the organisers for the last few days. But apart from that that it was a joy to watch the game for the fans at the Salt Lake Stadium. FIFA officials will be happy to see the turnout at the huge Salt Lake Stadium which is also the venue for the final on October 28.

This was in sharp contrast to the motley crowd seen in majority of the five other staging centres.

Talking about the new look Salt Lake Stadium, AIFF Senior Vice President Subrata Dutta said, “It feels like we are watching a football match in a stadium abroad. It was a similar experience as we witness during the senior world cup. The atmosphere looks absolute electrifying and very few would have thought we would experience such a moment. It is a gift on the part of State Government to the soccer loving people of the city.”

On being asked about how challenging it will be to maintain the stadium, Mr Dutta said, “I am confident the State Government will take every possible step to maintain the stadium.”

Not only Subrata Dutta, former East Bengal footballer Alvito D’Counha also expressed his awe at the stadium.

“I think it is now one of the best football stadiums across the country and the continent. It just looks amazing to see the Salt Lake Stadium. I hope the authorities concerned can maintain the stadium,” said Alvito who was at the VIP Lounge with Cavin Lobo.

Also present to witness the match today at the Salt Lake Stadium was former legends PK Banerjee and Chuni Goswami.

The city witnessed its first ever match in a FIFA event and will leave with happy memories.


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