Just to reiterate, India is hosting and participating in a FIFA World Cup for the first time in history itself is gratifying to the entire populace as they trooped out in their numbers to cheer their team.
A total of 6 cities witnessed the epic moments as the nation’s U-17 football team hosted the rest of the world in the youth championship.
Despite their inability to progress from the group stage, the passionate home fans were undeterred in their support as they simply appreciated the team’s effort and ENJOYED every bit of show.
The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata had a resounding attendance of about 63,881 with just two days notice after FIFA moved the England vs Brazil semi-final match from Ghuwati to Kolkata; a step a Assam Youth Organization filed a police complaint against stating that the people of Ghuwati denied a high profile match. England put up a mesmerizing display winning 3-1 to book their maiden final against fellow Europeans Spain, which was also too good for the only African side Mali at the D.Y Patil Sports Stadium, Nerul Navi Mumbai.
The atmosphere at the D.Y Patil Stadium was electrifying as the “non-tilted”, Indian fans passionately enjoyed the match with some moments of mobile phone craze. During the match, the fans displayed their flashlights, made cheering noise in support of the good football on display.
“I think people are beginning to allow other games asides from cricket which has taken more than 90% of the media, we are seeing a lot of changes, football fan Mr Debrato Sen told our man Amos Joseph who witnessed the event.
“With this and of international game coming to our country, I think it is good for India, the youngsters and very soon it will become a popular game.
“This is clearly a way to announce to the everyone that India can host an international football event like the world cup.
He further said that it is an inspiration to Indian youngsters who love and have started playing football. “Hopefully sometime n the nearest future, India will come tops in world football.”
Another fan Shyam Sampat who spoke with PageOne.ng said he was enthused about good football on display which is why he has shown interest in the games regardless of the country playing. “Football is a new game for us, and our youngsters are absolutely excited about this new revolution coming. I’m here with my son who also plays football and supports FC Barcelona, while I support Arsenal.”
As we build up to the all-European final between Spain and England which takes place on October 28th 2017 at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata, it is important to note that a 170 number of goals have been scored up until now at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017which is the second highest-scoring U-17 World Cup in history, having overtaken the 167 strikes registered at Korea Republic 2007. With two games still to be played, there is every chance that the all-time record of 172 goals, set at the tournament in the United Arab Emirates in 2013, will be broken in India.
Without doubts, Indians are beginning to embrace the football culture which potentially poses a threat to the deepened Cricket tradition.