Under 17 World Cup 2017: Kolkata is set to host its final match at the Salt Lake stadium on October 28 and the Mamata Banerjee government has asked FIFA to make an exception in its stringent security rules and allow students to carry tiffin boxes.
The football fever has totally taken over India. Even though the India colts failed to win any of their group matches, the craze about the ongoing FIFA Under 17 World Cup is at its peak. Kolkata is set to host its final match at the Salt Lake stadium on October 28 and the Mamata Banerjee government has asked FIFA to make an exception in its stringent security rules and allow students to carry tiffin boxes. This request came from the West Bengal Sports Minister Arup Biswas, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The Salt Lake stadium is famous for the fierce Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. It was revamped ahead of the FIFA tournament. “I have communicated to officials at FIFA to allow students, who will be coming from across the state, to watch the matches with their tiffin. We want young students to watch the matches and draw inspiration,” Biswas said. The entire tournament is being played under tight security as teams from all across the globe are taking part in it.
The security arrangements at the stadium include 250 CCTV cameras, some night-vision enabled, and drones that keep a watch. There is a four-layer security system with restrictions on spectators including food brought from outside. An official of the Sports Ministry told IE. “The problem with the restriction on outside food in case of students is that many of these students are coming from villages and small towns. Many might not be able to afford the food inside the stadium. We would like to let students be allowed to bring their tiffin so that they can watch football, draw inspiration, and at the same time, eat well.”
The West Bengal government is doing everything possible to make the tournament a hit. It is providing free tickets to around 5,000 school and college students. “We will be giving free passes to about 5,000 students from different colleges and schools of the state everyday to watch the matches,” an official was quoted saying in the report.