MUMBAI: The Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 Womens World Cup 2021 held a video conference meeting with the Sports Minister of Maharashtra, Sunil Kedar and Vice President of Western India Football Association and Minister of Tourism and Environment of Maharashtra, Aaditya Thackeray, to take stock of preparations for the upcoming tournament.
This was the first major meeting after the revised match schedule was released for the tournament on June 23, a statement said.
"I am happy to know of the progress that has been made in the last year. It is a great honour for Maharashtra to host this tournament. Sports and sportsmanship are the need of the hour. The Sports Department and Government of Maharastra assure full cooperation and support to make the tournament, along with the final, a great success. This meeting further helped in understanding the requirements for the World Cup," said Sunil Kedar.
"We are very proud to be hosting the U-17 Women's World Cup, along with the final. Navi Mumbai hosted a successful tournament in 2017 as well. The past few months have been tough, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that the situation will improve. Sports are a great tool to overcome barriers. In the coming months, we will launch programmes to promote the growth of women's sport and increase participation of girls in football. Maharashtra will work tirelessly to ensure the first women's football World Cup in the country is memorable for teams and fans alike," added Thackeray.
Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Roma Khanna added: "We had a fruitful meeting today, and discussed the requirements that would need to be in place to host the final, as it requires special planning. Besides assessing the preparations, it was important to discuss other aspects of the tournament including developing women's football overall and increasing participation in the state. This World Cup has the potential to be a game-changer for women's football in the country. We're very happy to have stakeholders like Maharashtra, who have the potential, and importantly the commitment and vision to ensure there is a lasting impact when it comes to women's sport and women's football in particular."
Other senior state government personnel along with officials from the LOC, WIFA and Dr DY Patil Stadium were also present for the meeting.
Navi Mumbai will host the final on March 7. The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup will kick off in Guwahati on February 17, 2021. IANS