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City may miss out

New Delhi: The aspirations of Indian Football Association (IFA) to have Calcutta as one of the venues for the under-17 World Cup in 2017 could suffer a jolt when a two-member Fifa team begin the inspection of venues in eight centres from Friday.

According to sources, the two officials, Fifa director of competitions, Inaki Alvarez, and competitions manager, Vijay Parthasarthy, has told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that a venue where matches will be played on artificial turf should also have a training ground fitted with similar facilities.

Fifa has no issues with venues having artificial turf for the under-17 World Cup.

“The Fifa team had its first meeting with the AIFF officials on Thursday in New Delhi, where they talked about this condition,” said an AIFF official. “Calcutta does have an artificial turf at Salt Lake Stadium but the other one they have is in Barasat.

“We are hoping Fifa would accept it as the second ground for practice,” he said.

Bangalore, too, may be in trouble. The Kanteerava Stadium is being pitched for as a Cup venue, but the city has no other ground with artificial turf. A similar problem, the AIFF officials said, could arise in Mumbai, too.

The Fifa team will inspect eight venues in Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Kochi, Delhi and Guwahati and six of them would be shortlisted.

The inspection will start with Pune on Friday. The team will inspect facilities in Calcutta on February 28. Next day, the Fifa officials will also watch the Mohun Bagan versus East Bengal match.