Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced recently that the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the governing body of Indian football, would establish its Centre of Excellence in Kolkata.
The Chief Minister has promised to allot 15 acres of land in Rajarhat for the purpose. The announcement was made at a gala dinner at Eco Park held the day before the final of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, in the presence of the FIFA president and his council members.
The tournament has been a huge success, and FIFA itself has acknowledged the fact, being the best-attended Under-17 World Cup ever. On top of that, with due credit to Mamata Banerjee and her active part in making the tournament a huge success in Kolkata, Kolkata has seen, by far, the highest average attendance for the matches.
As Mamata Banerjee announced through a Facebook message, out of the 13.47 lakh spectators in India who watched the matches, Kolkata had 6.08 lakh watching them at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. This is more than 45 per cent of the total spectator count. Furthermore, the per match average spectator count in India was 25,906, while in Kolkata it was 55,345 – which is more than double.