With little less than two years to go for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in India in 2017, tournament director Javier Ceppi has vowed that the prestigious event won't go the same way as the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
"In India, jugaad often happens. Things get done at the last minute. I have no time for that. We have no time for that. We want to deliver a world-class event where there's no jugaad.
"This won't be like the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where they said this will be like a wedding and kept saying 'it will get done, it will get done'. That's bull***t. We need to work and we need to have things ready one year before the tournament because we need to test the venues. And we need to keep testing them," Ceppi told mid-day yesterday.
The Chilean, who was the Executive Director of the 2015 Chile U-17 World Cup and the Assistant General Coordinator of the Abu Dhabi venue for the 2013 edition, was in Mumbai yesterday to attend 'The Football Movement', where he was a panelist in a discussion on sponsorship in football.
Only last month, All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary Kushal Das had said that getting the venues ready for the tournament would be the biggest challenge. Apart from Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium, Kolkata, New Delhi, Kochi, Guwahati and Goa have been given the nod provisionally.
'DY Patil is the best'
However, Ceppi heaped praise on the Navi Mumbai venue, calling it the best of the lot. "The DY Patil Stadium is the best stadium in the country for football. We have been given a list of 8,254 items by FIFA that each stadium must comply with. DY Patil complies with more items in the list than other stadiums.
"All the six venues are still provisional venues. We have an inspection in the coming months, probably in January. The final inspection will be one year before the tournament, at which point they need to be fully compliant with all core infrastructural matters," Ceppi said, before adding that India is more prepared at this stage than most of their predecessors.
"I can tell you that we are better than what Chile (which hosted the tournament earlier this year) was two years before the tournament. We're better than where UAE (2013 hosts) and Nigeria (2009 hosts) were at this stage."