Happy with the new look of the VYBK stadium: FIFA

New capacity reduced to 66,687


September 12, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

The refurbished look of Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Stadium in Kolkata - the venue for U17 FIFA WC 2017

The refurbished look of Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Stadium in Kolkata – the venue for U17 FIFA WC 2017

The biggest football stadium in India, Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) in Salt Lake, Kolkata is all set to stage the finals of the under-17 FIFA World Cup 2017 after the tournament director Javier Ceppi gave a 10-on-10 to the refurbished stadium infrastructure.

The VYBK or the Salt Lake Stadium as locally known in Kolkata was a testimony of the passion the city exhibited for football in last three decades and was the venue of many international as well as national matches over the years. The stadium was the largest in Asia in terms of its seating capacity when it was inaugurated way back in 1984. It used to have a capacity of 120,000 officially but a packed house Kolkata derby witnessed even more spectators.

However, the reduced capacity of the stadium now is 80,000. For the FIFA tournaments, the Sports and Grounds Safety Authority of United Kingdom has directed to Local Organising Committee to bring down the official capacity for the tournament to 66,687 as per their safety guidelines.

Happy FIFA aims smooth functioning

The FIFA Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Javier Ceppi expressed his happiness on the social media with a tweet stating that now that the stadium looks nice, they will try and make it great in terms of operations.

“You see and the stadium looks nothing like it used to before. That’s because the stadium needed to be fit to host a World Cup final, the most important football match to be hosted in India’s history., said Ceppi to the media during the handover of the stadium to FIFA on Sunday. “This stadium now can be compared to other stadiums in the world that have hosted a FIFA World Cup final,” he added.

Subrata Dutta, the Director of the Local Organising Committee of the U17 FIFA World Cup expressed his delight to MIG on the recent developments of the stadium. “We didn’t even imagine that the stadium will turn out to look so good, it’s beyond our dreams. I am happy that India now has a football stadium that is at par with any of the international stadiums in the world.”

Speaking about the infrastructural and renovation work, Dutta, also the Chairman of the infrastructure and development of the U17 FIFA World Cup said, “The government of West Bengal should be thanked for this, they took the entire cost and responsibility of the renovation work. Around INR 150 million (EUR 2 million) was allocated by the central government while the state government spent close to INR 1 billion (EUR 13 million)on the refurbishment.”

The stadium was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Bannerjee today (September 12) in the presence of the AIFF vice-president (East) Subrata Dutta. However, Javier Ceppi who is presently out of the city was unable to attend the inauguration function, informed Dutta.

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