The FIFA U-17 World Cup kicked off in grand fashion last night with football fans from all over India making their way to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi to be part of India’s first ever FIFA World Cup game.
Fan Clubs of almost all ISL and I-League clubs made their presence felt last night and a very unique group in the ‘Blue Pilgrims’ also came together, with fans from different supporter clubs uniting to support the young Indian colts.
The atmosphere was electric and there was a sense of expectancy in the air, as Indian was about to kick a ball in its first ever FIFA World Cup game. The football revolution in India was about to set off and the everyone who could be, wanted to be a part of it.
But the government wasn’t sure about the Delhi being able to fill the JLN stadium, as the capital did not boast of a very rich footballing history, and hence the government gave away close to 27000 tickets to school children in order to ensure that the JLN was jam packed for the opening night.
And while the school children showed up in huge numbers, shouting their lungs out, the organising committee failed to provide them with water.
Water bottles weren’t allowed inside the stadium and thus the children were forced to drink water from stray water cans kept outside the seating area.
The water vendors in the stadium ran out of water and food very quickly and it then took them close to 4 hours to get the new stock of food and water into the stadium, clearly suggesting that they were not well prepared to handle such a large crowd.
While the government ensured that the children were provided with free ‘Blue’ T-Shirts and tickets for the game, they should have also ensured good amount of water and food supply for the kids(even if it was paid) for them to enjoy the occasion to the fullest.