The attendance for matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 breached the million mark in the final match of the Round of 16. Despite the hosts being knocked out in the group matches, the Indian fans turned up in large numbers to witness the World Cup fever which has been hosted in the nation for the very first time.
The cumulative total as of now stands at 1,007,396. The last set of pre-quarterfinal matches involved Ghana against Niger and Brazil versus Honduras on Wednesday.
Tournament director of the local organising committee, Javier Ceppi said it would be an understatement to say that they are overwhelmed by the response from across the country.
"We really feel that football has taken over the country and the craze that the tournament has generated is one of a kind. The fans have been fantastic and now India 2017 is on track to become the most attended FIFA U-17 World Cup in the history of the event," Ceppi said.
To ensure that as many seats as possible are utilised, the LOC is "recalling" some of the complimentary tickets given so far.
"Keeping that in mind, we have recalled some of the complimentary tickets given in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Navi Mumbai and will be opened today so that all football lovers in those cities can have an opportunity to watch the last matches.
"For that to happen, we appeal to all football fans and spectators to get their tickets and fill up the stadiums on the next matches, so that India 2017 can leave its mark and have the record of attendance for a FIFA U-17 World Cup."
The final is slated for October 28 and over the remaining nine days, the LOC would like to make this tournament the biggest FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The previous record of 1,230,976 was set in the very first edition in China in 1985.
(With PTI Inputs).