DEBAYA BHATTACHARYYA - 29.10.2017 : It has been a remarkably successful FIFA U-17 World Cup and we Indians just can't stop drooling about it. It has been an eventful 22 days, as we saw record breaking attendants, crunch encounters and a host of goals. India, being only the 5th Asian to host such a prestigious event and their first attempt in hosting a FIFA tournament went so well that it turned out to be the best U-17 edition.

Kolkata proves why it is call the " FOOTBALL CAPITAL OF INDIA"
Here is a list of the average attendance of all the six venues in India (per match day):-

1) KOLKATA-                56,614 
2) New Delhi-              33,404 
3) Navi Mumbai-.           22,369
4) Kochi-                  16,934
5) Guwahati-               12,974 
6) Goa-                    10,787  
Source:- Wikipedia 

The success behind any sporting event has to be the crowd response and the response India gave popped out of the blue moon ! For obvious reasons football has been sidelined for years now in India as the only sport being prioritised here is Cricket. A big responsibility handed over to a developing football nation, to host a World Cup of a different sport and therefore the outcome of a good result looked very much bleak.

But all odds were sent packing as India broke free from the stereotypes and amassed an all time record breaking attendance of 13,47,113 spectators in the history of the U-17 World Cup breaking China's record of 12,30,976 set up way back in the first edition in 1985. The records do not stop here. This year's overall attendance also managed to break the all time overall attendance of the FIFA U-20 World Cup (13,09,929), which was previously held by Colombia, thus becoming the most attended age level World Cup ever and lastly it also broke the attendance record of the ICC Cricket World Cup (12,29,826) held in India, back in 2011, something which will delight the football fans of our nation to a great extent.


1) INDIA,           	2017-	 13,47,133 
2) CHINA,           	1985-    12,30,976
3) MEXICO,          	2011-    10,02,314
4) NIGERIA,         	2009-     7,78,787 
5) EGYPT,           	1997-     6,33,000 
6) PERU, 		2005-     5,51,817 
7) CHILE, 		2015-     4,82,490 
8) ECUADOR,             1995-     4,63,000
9) SOUTH KOREA, 	2007-     4,22,907
10) TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO-2001-  	  3,31,198 
11) UAE, 		2013-     3,18,108 
12) SCOTLAND, 		1989-     2,56,000 
13) JAPAN, 		1993-     2,33,000 
14) NEW ZEALAND, 	1999-     2,16,853 
15) FINLAND, 		2003-     1,83,616 
16) CANADA,		1987-     1,69,160 
17) ITALY, 		1991-       37,000 
Now's let's have a look on how the six venues of Kolkata, New Delhi, Kochi, Guwahati, Goa and Navi Mumbai faired in luring spectators for the 2017 U-17 World Cup.

Let's start with Kolkata's newly refurbished Salt Lake Stadium. Huge stadium capable of holding over 1 lakh spectators, the capacity was reduced to 67,000 for the world cup. No one has the passion like Kolkata has when it comes to football and no wonder it is the true "Spiritual Place of Football" in India. Out of the 11 matches played here, over 4 lakh spectators turned up which is around 45% of the total overall attendance and averaging a total of 56,614 per match day with the rest of India averaging only 19,264 per match day. The highest recorded attendance in a single match, was the final, between England and Spain which took place in Kolkata, filling the entire stadium with 66,683 fanatics.

Kolkata managed to get two more 60,000+ crowd in the Quarter-Final (Brazil vs Germany) and Semi-Final(England vs Brazil) respectively with the lowest being 44,665 in a group stage match between Japan and New Caledonia, which is still more than the rest of India and quite astonishingly it is also more than the overall attendance of footballing giant, Italy, who only managed to pull a mere 37,000 spectators throughout the entire tournament back in 1991 when they hosted the U-17 World Cup. Kolkata were unhappy when they didn't get any matches of India Colts but that didn't stop them from turning up in huge numbers. Passion and the love for football is what the Bengalis live for.

Host country India who were making their U-17 World Cup debut, played their matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, the capital. 52,614 spectators turned up for the India vs Ghana match which is the highest for that venue.

Kerala was expected to pull off like Kolkata, as they have done for their local team Kerala Blasters in the ISL, but it turned out to be below average as their highest attended match was between Spain and Iran, were only 28,436 spectators turned up in a stadium of 60,000 capacity. The lowest recorded attendance of the entire tournament comes from this ground. A meagre 2,754 spectators were present when North Korea played Niger in a group stage match.

Another football crazy city, Guwahati managed to pull a satisfactory amount of crowd at the Indhira Gandhi Athletic Stadium with the highest being in the Spain vs France Round of 16 match which managed to pull 13,316 spectators out of a stadium capacity of 24,000.

Goa at their Fatorda Stadium has pulled off a decent amount of crowd with the highest being 16,148 spectators for the quarter-final match between England and USA. Mumbai at their DY Patil Stadium saw a highest attendance of 37,847 spectators in the semi-final match between Spain and Mali out of a 58,000 capacity stadium.

Total Goals 52 MATCHES : 183
Most Goals scored in a final: 7 GOALS (England 5-2 Spain)
Top 3 Goal scorers:

Rhian Brewster [ENGLAND] – (8 Goals)
Lassana N’Diaye [MALI] & Abel Ruiz [SPN] – (6 Goals)

Golden Boot : Rhian Brewster [ENGLAND]
Golden Glove : Gabriel Brazao [BRAZIL]
Golden Ball : Phil Foden [ENGLAND]
Silver Ball : Sergio Gomez [SPAIN]
Bronze Ball : Rhian Brewster [ENGLAND] Fair Play Award : [BRAzIL]
NO SCORE : North Korea and Chile