Kolkata: The FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinal between Brazil and England has been shifted from Guwahati after both teams expressed their reluctance to play at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, because of poor pitch conditions.
The fixture has now been shifted to Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium, which will also host the final on Saturday. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 05:00 p.m..
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) said, “Following a thorough assessment of the pitch conditions at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, which has been affected by severe rainfall over the past few days, FIFA has decided to move the venue of the semifinal between England and Brazil, due to be played on 25 October 2017, to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium).
“Despite the great efforts by all involved parties, including the authorities of Guwahati, to preserve the pitch, FIFA has taken this decision following consultations with both teams in order to safeguard the players’ health and to ensure the best playing conditions.”
The authorities at the stadium took every measure possible to ensure dry playing conditions including the use of a helicopter. Fans with a valid ticket for the semifinal originally planned to take place in Guwahati will be entitled for a refund.