FIFA U-17 World Cup: 27000 free tickets for school kids but not enough water

Jaspreet Sahni Oct 07, 2017, 00:17 AM IST,

Call it a noble gesture or the need to fill up the stadium, close to 27,000 free tickets for the opening day of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, here, were handed out to schools in Delhi/NCR (National Capital Region). But the administrators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium couldn`t manage enough water to quench the thirst of these students.

New Delhi: Call it a noble gesture or the need to fill up the stadium, close to 27,000 free tickets for the opening day of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, here, were handed out to schools in Delhi/NCR (National Capital Region). But the administrators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium couldn’t manage enough water to quench the thirst of these students.


Chaotic scenes prevailed outside the food counters that were selling water. It was not even free.


Schools from as far as Sonepat ferried students to watch the opening day fixtures between Colombia and Ghana, followed by India vs USA on Friday. It’s the first time that India is participating in a FIFA World Cup.


“Is there any water dispenser you can guide us to,” a student came asking. “We have come from Sonepat. Trying to find water over the last 20 minutes,” said another.


It’s the first time that India is hosting a football tournament of this stature and arrangements were expected to be top notch, but that wasn’t the case, at least on the first day.


There was a student leaning on a wall in the corridor outside the stands. He was accompanied by a friend attending to him.


On being asked if everything is all right, his friend replied, “He has fever. Is there a way you can help us with any medical aid?”


There was no teacher in sight, and the helpless kids didn’t know what to do with no signage for first aid or a medical facility. Fortunately, a volunteer acted upon seeing the kid in bad shape and summoned help.


These surely can’t be teething issues. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had years to prepare for this big day. Only unfortunate that it came to this, and the innocent kids, who came to enjoy, were at the receiving end.  

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