FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi today said that there has been an unexpected decline in the third phase of ticket sales in the city.
Guwahati is currently lacking behind Kolkata and Kochi in terms of ticket sales.
"Ticket sales in Guwahati were extremely strong in Phase I and Phase II but have unexpectedly declined currently," Ceppi said in a news conference here.
The 23,850 capacity Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium is the venue of Group E teams -- France, Japan, Honduras, New Caledonia -- and a group F match between Mexico and Chile.
"It may seem to people that not too attractive teams are here, but let me tell you France has Amine Gouiri who was the top scorer of UEFA U-17 Championship with eight goals, he already plays in Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) for their senior team.
"Takefusa Kubo plays for Japan -- he was the star of Barcelona youth system and is the youngest scorer in the J- League. We saw him last year in the AFC U-16 Championships, and he is an absolute phenomenon. He is bound to be the best Asian player ever. Such is the quality of the players coming in Guwahati for the games," said Ceppi.
He said teams like Chile were capable of beating their senior clubs.
"I have spoken to the club presidents of Chile football clubs, who have produced the likes of Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel and they were confident that their U-17 team is capable of beating the senior clubs in Chile.
"Mexico, as we all know, has an excellent reputation in the tournament and are a force to be reckoned with."
The city will also host a pre-quarters, quarters an semifinals.
"Football is a religion in Guwahati and other parts of the North-East India, and hence, we are not very worried about filling the stadium.
"The internet penetration in the city is good and we don't see the online sale of tickets as a concern; however, fans just need a reminder for the best live football they are about to witness," said Ceppi.
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