New Delhi: The FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India will have no opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony was formally cancelled after FIFA president Gianni Infantino refused to attend it on conventional ground, according to media reports.
Earlier, AIFF and Sports Ministry had decided to hold the opening ceremony on October 5th. A small ceremony could be held on October 6 suggets the report.
The government wanted to go ahead with an opening ceremony of its own despite FIFA, the governing body for world football, making it clear that the focus should be on the opening match.
FIFA was not in favour of an opening ceremony on October 5 – a day before the tournament kicked off in the Capital and has already denied the government permission to host the ceremony at the Nehru Stadium which will host matches the next day, including one that pits India against the United States.
“An opening ceremony is not a usual aspect of the conduct of a Fifa U-17 World Cup, because in these tournaments football is the real star. There was a query by government of India at some point of time to do one but it is not confirmed that it will happen,” said tournament director Javier Ceppi.
The U-17 World Cup will be played at six venues across the country. India will be based in Delhi and have been grouped with United States, Colombia and Ghana.