• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will leave behind a strong legacy, says Dr Vijay Patil

The final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Sunday, October 30, 2022, and Dr Vijay Patil, the Founder President of the DY Patil Sports Academy, believes the tournament will do a world of good in inspiring the future generation of the country to excel in the sporting arena. 

“Tournaments of this nature allow everyone to watch world-class athletes perform in your backyard and the young generation certainly gets inspired by seeing these young athletes perform and excel in the sport, and I think it’s extremely important because it leaves behind a strong legacy,” Dr Patil told www.the-aiff.com.

The DY Patil Stadium is part of the DY Patil Sports Academy with Dr Vijay Patil being the brain behind and the patron of the institution. Dr Patil expressed his delight at the progress of preparations at the venue and said, “It’s a sensational moment in Indian sports, and particularly for women’s sports, and we are delighted that we’ve got this opportunity to partner with All India Football Federation to host this tournament.

“The tournament has been successfully conducted at all the venues and we are looking forward to this truly inspirational moment that’s going to come in hosting the final here,” he added.

Dr Patil has been at the helm of affairs of the DY Patil Group and Chancellor of DY Patil University since 1991 and looks after the development and administration work. A keen follower of sports complexes of international standards across the world, Dr Patil visualized and executed the multi-purpose DY Patil Sports Stadium. The result is a grand venue that has catapulted Navi Mumbai into the limelight and has provided a fantastic opportunity for sports lovers.

“India has the privilege of hosting an U-17 World Cup for the second time (in 2017, India hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup). All India Football Federation, as well as the Union Ministry of Sport, played a very proactive role in the promotion of the sport and we consider it a matter of privilege and honour that AIFF has entrusted us with the responsibility of hosting this global tournament. It’s highly satisfying and wonderful to see the kind of involvement all the stakeholders have displayed in working together and making sure that the tournament is a grand success,” Dr Patil said. 

“We received exemplary support from the Ministry of Sports, the Government of India, and the Government of Maharashtra, in terms of the conduct of the tournament. Even local bodies – The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and other bodies have been working in the spirit of oneness to make sure that the tournament at this venue becomes a success. So, we are indeed delighted that we are a part of this sporting India,” he said. 

Navi Mumbai became the third venue to be approved for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 besides Bhubaneswar and Goa. It had hosted matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup for men in 2017, and AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, and also remained the home ground for Mumbai City FC in Indian Super League.

Dr Patil is immensely proud that DY Patil Sports Stadium is hosting the U-17 Women’s World Cup final and said, “I consider it a privilege and honour that we have the opportunity to host some wonderful sporting events at our venue. I mean, as a promoter of sports, what else do you aspire for? We had the opportunity of hosting international-level matches which certainly helped in the promotion of sports. It’s a great opportunity for India to be developed as a great sporting nation if it’s already not there.”

The DY Patil Sports Stadium is a part of the DY Patil University, which has helped the students watch the mega football event very closely. More than 20,000 students have been experiencing the whole feeling of having a FIFA tournament and students are also proactively involved. 

Nearly 200 volunteers from the university are a part of this tournament across all colleges – School of Medicine, School of Ayurveda, School of Engineering, Physiotherapy, Sports and Exercise Science – in all different categories, which is an important part of the whole youth programme that is being conducted in Navi Mumbai. 

The stadium was also revamped fully for the World Cup in terms of surfaces, lighting, seating arrangements to ensure proper playing environment for the players and the spectators. 

When asked about the process of revamping, Dr Vijay Patil said, “Keeping all the stakeholders involved with the game, we’ve tried to address what the best practices of sports facilities around the world are, to make sure that we provide an optimal playing environment for all those coming to our venue. So, in the last few years, of course, the lighting has undergone a major change in the facility. We have got one of the best LED lightings that have come into the facility, which ensures optimal lighting conditions for the matches at the venue.”

“There was a whole checklist given by FIFA in terms of compliance, for hosting major events such as this and I’m very happy to say that DY Patil Sports Stadium has complied with all those challenges and demands that have been made, and we are confident that we will be able to host a successful World Cup final,” Dr Patil said. 

He also urged the fans to come out in numbers to experience the thrilling atmosphere in the stadium during the final and said, “Navi Mumbai has a reputation of being a sports-loving city, and is a city which has an extremely high amount of youth population. We are confident that a lot of kids, students and parents would turn up for the final. There’s a lot of buzz around the city.”

“I would urge all fans living anywhere, that this is your opportunity to see all these great stars of the future perform in your country and I think that’s something that doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

“It’s been fantastic to see that at all three venues, we’ve had a decent number of fans turn up for the event and it’s a great sign for Indian sports and I’m sure for the final we will have a record crowd, something that everyone’s looking forward to and I’m expecting, an absolutely exciting and historical final to be held at Navi Mumbai,” Dr Patil concluded.

Source: FIFA / IFA

Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee 

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